The 9 Most Ridiculous Inclusions on the ALA’s Banned-Book List

EACH YEAR, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom records the hundreds of attempts by individuals and groups to have books removed from libraries and schools. (See Frequently Challenged Books for more info.)

According to the Office for Intellectual Freedom, at least 46 of the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century have been the target of ban attempts.

The books below are some of the classics people have had issue with. For real, guys?

A little reminiscent of a certain Ray Bradbury book, Fahrenheit 451.

9. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck

One of the most celebrated works from the Nobel Prize-winning Steinbeck, this masterpiece has been banned throughout the years for “profane language, moral statement, treatment of the retarded, and the violent ending.” Honestly, ‘the retarded?’ Even the disclaimer is not appropriate for class.

It’s like if Rain Man accidentally killed people.

8. 1984, by George Orwell

One of the most anti-totalitarian books in history was banned as recently as 2004 for being “pro-communist,” we’re guessing by someone who never read it because they were afraid of being labeled a communist.

Apparently, work means boobs.

7. The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

According to Owen, N.C. High School, this book is “demoralizing inasmuch as it implies that man is little more than an animal.” Some the sound of it, Owen, N.C. High School is not too friendly toward Darwin’s On the Origin of Species either.

The Swiss Family Robinson they’re not.

6. The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien

Apparently, books about goblins, elves, and wizards are considered an affront to Christianity even though if you just add “demons,” “angels,” and “Jesus” in their place you pretty much have the Bible. Christ Community Church in Alamagordo, New Mexico, recently hosted a book-burning of Tolkien texts in 2001. You know, because nothing makes a church look better than taking a page from the freaking Nazis.

Alamagordo, New Mexico.

5. The Giver, by Lois Lowry

Banned for infanticide, fantasy, and “magic.” The Old Testament, on the other hand, is required reading in Catholic school.

4. The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair

Perhaps it reveals more details about “pink smile” than the cafeteria’s vendors want you to know.

Coming soon to a school near you!

3. Charlotte’s Web, by E. B. White

Why has this one banned? Because the spider dies. Seriously.

2. Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne

Honestly, we have no idea why the hell this book is on the list. Maybe because Kanga is a single mother, which according to Rick Santorum means she’s “breeding more criminals.” Yeah. Kangaroo Kriminalz. Probably.

1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

Let’s see… Is this because Judy Garland was a drug addict, or because children’s literacy is possibly a form of witchcraft?


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