Published on January 13th, 2015 | by Samantha Levine


The Most Famous Banned Books

Books, with their power to inform and entertain, have occasionally run into trouble with governments and schools. Whether these books were introducing or being too sympathetic to dangerous ideas, the power of the written word is certainly not being underestimated. Here are five books that have been banned either school-wide or country-wide.

 Harry Potter


Plot: The Harry Potter series is about a young boy who finds out he has magical powers and follows him as he goes through wizard’s school, makes friends, and fights evil.

Where: Schools in US, UK

Why: Parents at Christian schools were worried about the depiction of witchcraft in a positive light and had the book banned to try and prevent children from being influenced.

Animal Farm


Plot: Animal Farm depicts a group of barnyard animals that overthrow the farmer and start a new social order on the farm. The book is a depiction and criticism of the USSR and Stalin.

Where: Cuba, Kenya, China, Russia, United Arab Emirates

Why: Due to the critique of Communism and government this book has been, and continues to be, banned in many of these countries.

Charlotte’s Web


Plot: Charlotte’s Web is a children’s story of a pig who befriends a spider on the farm. When the pig is set to go to slaughter, the spider begins spelling out words in her web to convince the farmer to let the pig live.

Where: Kansas

Why: Schools in Kansas banned the book on the grounds that it was unnatural for animals to talk, and that the subject matter was inappropriate for children.

Brave New World


Plot: Brave New World is about a future where people are not born, but genetically engineered to live a certain life and do a specific job.

Where: Australia

Why: Brave New World is both anti-government and anti-religion. Australia reportedly feared that allowing citizens to read Brave New World would result in a moral corruption of society, which did not occur when they raised the ban five years later.

 Longest banned book – The Communist Manifesto


Synopsis: The Communist Manifesto was written in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and analyzes class struggles and promotes Communism as a solution to inequality.

Where: Turkey, for 165 years!

Why: Turkey, while to the East of the Iron Curtain, never had Communist Leadership. There is a banned Communist Party of Turkey as well. Part of Turkey’s attempts to resist Communist leadership included banning the Communist Manifesto which was banned due to promoting the Communist ideals the government was trying to avoid.



Plot: A man, obsessed with young girls, marries a woman to get closer to her daughter. The novel chronicles their lives as Humbert, the narrator, takes control of Lolita’s life and forces her to so what he wants.

Where: UK
Why: Dubbed ‘obscene’ for the in-depth depiction of Humbert’s obsessed dealings with girls, and Lolita in particular.

American Psycho

Plot: American Psycho tells the story of Patrick Bateman, an investment banker and serial killer. Throughout the novel his mental state becomes more and more unstable, leading to more graphic and bizarre murders.
Where: Queensland, Australia
Why: This book, and movie for that matter, are violent and graphic. It’s no wonder that Queensland still holds its ban on the book, allowing it to only to be sold shrink-wrapped.

Want to see more popular banned books? Check them out here: http://goo.gl/oGYq0e. Were you surprised by any of the books that have come under fire? Let me know in the comments!

Tags: , ,

About the Author

Samantha Levine is a freelance writer for Magazine Discount Center. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and reading in coffee shops.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑