The books on this list were banned in various locations worldwide for various reasons. Some were banned for sexual content, language that was deemed inappropriate, or anti-government content. Many of these best banned books are award-winning titles and are some of the most famous books of all time. Often, banning the book only made it more popular and well read. This list also has the reasons each book was banned.
This list features the best banned books in history including Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ernest Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Vote up the best banned books below.
Set in Alabama in the 1930s, Harper Lee's classic novel tells the story of a white lawyer defending a black man accused of rape. It has been subject to many challenges and temporary bans in the U.S. on charges of racism and the accusation that it "represents institutionalized racism under the guise of good literature."
#2 on The Best Books for Teenssee more on To Kill a Mockingbird
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, is the real-life diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish teenager who, along with her family, hid from the Nazis during World War II. She died in a concentration camp, and her diary was published posthumously. It has been challenged by various organizations in the U.S., including members of the Alabama State Textbook Committee, who contended it was a "real downer." Many states, including Michigan, have tried to ban the book, saying it is "too pornographic."
#7 on The Best Books for Teens
#58 on The Greatest American Novelssee more on The Diary of a Young Girl
Harry Potter and the fantasy world of Hogwarts may seem fairly innocuous, but J.K. Rowling's hugely popular series has faced opposition from parents and school boards on both sides of the Atlantic. Portrayal of death, evil, and hatred – as well as the promotion of belief in witchcraft – are among reasons cited for objections.
#93 on The Best Novels Ever Written
#1 on The Best Books for Teenssee more on Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Widely acknowledged as one of the best American novels ever written, this 1884 novel by Mark Twain nevertheless provokes ongoing debate over whether it reinforces racial stereotypes. The "n-word" is used 242 times in the entire novel, leading one school administrator to brand it the "most grotesque example of racism I’ve ever seen in my life." It is frequently banned and challenged.
#16 on The Best Novels Ever Written
#38 on The Best Books for Teenssee more on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn