Top 5 Best Banned Books


Erika Gulley

A few examples of banned books.

In honor of Banned Books Week here are my top five favorite banned books.

  1. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

This book was challenged because it involves attempted suicide, trauma, drugs and much more. The book is about a 17-year-old girl named Charlie Davis, who has a lot of built up trauma from her childhood and her escape from that is self-harm. She soon meets 27-year-old popular rockstar Riley West, who Charlie quickly falls for. After that her life falls apart all over again until Riley goes to rehab and Charlie gets back on her feet.

 This book is just WOW. It had my emotions absolutely everywhere. 10/10, would recommend.

  1. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book was named the fourth most banned and challenged book in 2020. It’s claimed to be biased towards male students and it includes mentions of rape and curse words. The book is about Melinda, a freshman, who had something traumatic happen at a summer party and called the cops, ultimately ending the party, and leading to everyone hating her. It tells the story of her freshman year and the struggle of being a teenager.

I was on an emotional roller coaster while reading this. It’s written so well in the perspective of a freshman and how hard it is to be a victim. 10/10, would recommend.

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This book is challenged due to profanity, violence and it’s thought to be an anti-police message. The book is about Starr Carter, a 16-year-old girl, who is living two separate lives. Her broke life, in the hood of her neighborhood, Garden Heights, and her rich life, in her paid for private school. These two worlds combined when she witnessed her childhood best friend, Khalil, get shot and killed by a police officer.

This book is full of emotions and so well written. I got so lost in reading it that I lost touch with reality. This book is a perfect example of how police brutality affects people’s lives. 8.5/10, would recommend.

  1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This book was challenged because a parent considered it pornographic; it also includes suicide and attempts of suicide. This book tells the story of Violet and Finch and how they came to love each other. They met at the bell tower on top of their school, both of them considering to jump off. Both of them suffer from mental disorders. Finch has bipolar disorder and depression, while Violet has trauma and depression from her sister dying in car crash. What they don’t realize is that when they met they saved each other. Throughout the book they get closer and realize that they both have a purpose in life. By the end they both love each other, but Finch just couldn’t keep going. Something very traumatic happens and it leaves Violet questioning everything.

I’m not going to lie, I cried at least five times reading this book. It was so easy to get attached to the characters. I literally felt like I knew these people in real life. I fell in love with this book. 9.5/10, would recommend.

  1. Skippyjon Jones by Judith Byron Schachner

This series of kids books has been challenged for stereotyping Mexican culture and its representation of Latinos. These books are about a little Siamese cat that is notorious for saying, “My ears are too big for my head. My head is too big for my body. I am not a Siamese cat. I’m a chihuahua!” In each book he overcomes obstacles. It’s a basic book with good lessons for little kids.

            I grew up reading these books and had never thought anything of how it was representing Latinos. Aside from the stereotypes they may include, these books taught valuable lessons to the younger kids reading them. 8/10, would recommend.

Some more books like this that are also banned are:

            I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

            The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

            The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

            Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

            The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon