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Books on the Most Challenged Lists: Surprises

As part of my Banned Books Week giveaway, I asked readers to look at the ALA's Most Challenged Books lists and tell me which one they were most surprised to see there. I thought it would be fun to share some of the responses so far.

The books that surprised most people were The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series. Both are challenged books despite their widespread popularity. About 40% of the giveaway entries mentioned one of these two books/series.

The Hunger Games has been challenged because of the level of violence in the book. This is the first year it appears on the list. The Harry Potter series has generally been challenged because it supposedly promotes witchcraft.

Other books with multiple responses in my survey included Twilight, Captain Underpants, Lord of the Rings, His Dark Materials and Fahrenheit 451. Several readers mentioned they were surprised these books were on the list.

People were also surprised by some of the classics that have been challenged over the years, including The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Call of the Wild and Bridge to Terabithia.

What books were you surprised to find on the lists? I personally was most surprised by the most challenged book of 2010: And Tango Makes Three. (Read my review)


  1. I need to check out that list! I've read Terabithia with a group of 4th graders. One of the best book discussions I've ever had! I guess we aren't allowed to make them think and feel.

  2. Just read your review of Tango, those kind of books need to be written, something for everyone and kids in those situations need to know they are not alone and are loved like others. Great story.

    I have only read To Kill a Mockingbird.


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