Banned Sci-Fi/Fantasy Works

Thanks to The Forbidden Library for compiling this data.

  • 1984 . George Orwell. Harcourt. Challenged in the Jackson County, Fla. (1981) because the novel is "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter." Big Brother doesn't want people reading such things.
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll. Ace; Bantam; Crown; Delacorte; Dover; NAL; Norton; Penguin; Random; St. Martin. Banned in China (1931) for portraying animals and humans on the same level, "Animals should not use human language."
  • Clan of the Cave Bear. Jean Auel. Coronet. Challenged at the Berrien Springs, Mich. High School for its use in classrooms and libraries (1988), Banned from the Cascade Middle School library in Eugene, Oreg. (1992), Challenged, but retained on the Moorpark High School recommended reading list in Simi Valley, Calif. (1993), despite objections that it contains "hardcore graphic sexual content."
  • Fahrenheit 451. Ray Bradbury. Ballentine. Ironically, students at the Venado Middle School in Irvine, Calif. received copies of the book with scores of words--mostly "hells" and "damns"--blacked out. The novel is about book burning and censorship. Thankfully, after receiving complaints from parents and being contacted by reporters, school officials said the censored copies would no longer be used (1992).
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C.S. Lewis. Macmillan. Challenged in the Howard County, Md. school system (1990) because it depicts "graphic violence, mysticism, and gore." I'm sure the school system would rather have its children reading something which adheres to "good Christian values." I cannot recommend the works of C.S. Lewis highly enough. The Narnia books, in particular, are great for readers of all ages.
  • The Lorax. Dr. Seuss. Random. Challenged in the Laytonville, Calif. Unified School District (1989) because it "criminalizes the foresting industry." Isn't that the de-foresting industry?
  • The Martian Chronicles. Ray Bradbury. Bantam. Challenged at the Haines City, Fla. High School (1982) for profanity and the use of God's name in vain. Challenged at the Newton-Conover, N.C. High School (1987) as supplemental reading due to profanity. Challenged at the Gatlinburg-Pittman, Tenn. High School (1993) due to profanity.
  • Slaughterhouse-Five. Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Dell; Dial. Burned in Drake, N. Dak. (1973). Banned in Rochester Mich. because the novel "contains and makes references to religious matters" and thus fell within the ban of the establishment clause. Challenged at the Owensboro, Ky. high School library (1985) because of "foul language, a reference to 'Magic Fingers' attached to the protagonist's bed to help him sleep, and the sentence: 'The gun made a ripping sound like the opening of the fly of God Almighty.' " Challenged, but retained on the Round Rock, Tex. Independent High School reading list (1996) after a challenge that the book was too violent. This particular novel is the recipient of a very cool plug in the movie, Footloose, starring Kevin Bacon.
  • The Witches of Worm. Zilpha Keatley Snyder. Atheneum. Challenged at the Hays, Kans. Public Library (1989) because it "could lead young readers to embrace satanism." The Newbery Award-winning book was retained on the approved reading list at Matthew Henson Middle School in Waldorf, Md. (1991) despite objections to its references to the occult.
  • A Wrinkle In Time. Madeleine L'Engle. Dell. Challenged at the Polk City, Fla. Elementary School (1985) by a parent who believed that the story promotes witchcraft, crystal balls, and demons. Challenged in the Anniston Ala. schools (1990). The complainant objected to the book's listing the name of Jesus Christ together with the names of great artists, philosophers, scientists, and religious leaders when referring to those who defend earth against evil. Got it. Let's cross Jesus off that list, shall we?

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