Which of These Banned Classic Books Have You Read?


Forty-six out of the top 100 novels of the 20th century chosen by the esteemed Radcliffe Publishing Course at Columbia University have been banned or challenged, according to the American Library Association (ALA). Even though these books have been banned or challenged, they remain available. “This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who speak out for the freedom to read,” according to the ALA.

The association releases the “Top 10 Most Challenged Books” list every year, based on information compiled by its Office of Intellectual Freedom. “Challenged” refers to a formal written complaint filed with a library or a school requesting that a book be removed or restricted because of its content. Books are challenged for a variety of reasons such as offensive language, sexually explicit content, portrayal of violence, and religious viewpoint.

Out of Radcliffe Publishing Course’s top 100 novels, the following titles have been banned or challenged, according to the ALA. The book’s rank on Radcliffe’s list is included in parenthesis.

Banned Classic Books


Which of these books have you read? Which ones would you like to read? Leave a comment below.

“The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1)

“The Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger (2)

“The Grapes of Wrath,” by John Steinbeck (3)

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee (4)

“The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker (5)

“Ulysses,” by James Joyce (6)

“Beloved,” by Toni Morrison (7)

“The Lord of the Flies,” by William Golding (8)

“1984,” by George Orwell (9)

“Lolita,” by Vladmir Nabokov (11)

“Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck (12)

“Catch-22,”  by Joseph Heller (15)

“Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley (16)

“Animal Farm,” by George Orwell (17)

“The Sun Also Rises,” by Ernest Hemingway (18)

“As I Lay Dying,” by William Faulkner (19)

“A Farewell to Arms,” by Ernest Hemingway (20)

“Their Eyes Were Watching God,” by Zora Neale Hurston (23)

“Invisible Man,” by Ralph Ellison (24)

“Song of Solomon,” by Toni Morrison (25)

“Gone with the Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell (26)

“Native Son,” by Richard Wright (27)

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,” by Ken Kesey (28)

“Slaughterhouse-Five,” by Kurt Vonnegut (29)

“For Whom the Bell Tolls,” by Ernest Hemingway (30)

“The Call of the Wild,” by Jack London (30)

“Go Tell it on the Mountain,” by James Baldwin (36)

“All the King's Men,” by Robert Penn Warren (38)

“The Lord of the Rings,” by J.R.R. Tolkien (40)

“The Jungle,” by Upton Sinclair (45)

“Lady Chatterley's Lover,” by D.H. Lawrence (48)

“A Clockwork Orange,” by Anthony Burgess (49)

“The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin (50)

“In Cold Blood,” by Truman Capote (53)

The Satanic Verses,” by Salman Rushdie (55)

"Sophie's Choice,” by William Styron (57)

“Sons and Lovers,” by D.H. Lawrence (64)

“Cat's Cradle,” by Kurt Vonnegut (66)

“A Separate Peace,” by John Knowles (67)

“Naked Lunch,” by William S. Burroughs (73)

“Brideshead Revisited,” by Evelyn Waugh (74)

“Women in Love,” by D.H. Lawrence (75)

“The Naked and the Dead,” by Norman Mailer (80)

“Tropic of Cancer,” by Henry Miller (84)

“An American Tragedy,” by Theodore Dreiser (88)

“Rabbit, Run,” by John Updike (97)