In honor of the 30th year of Banned Books Week—a time to celebrate the freedom to read and speak out against censorship—a Queens Librarian has put together this banned-book trivia challenge for you! Let us know how you score, by telling us in the comments. Note: Queens Library proudly carries all of the books included in this quiz.
1. A PG-13 movie version of this book is currently in a limited number of theaters and getting good reviews. It will go nationwide on October 5. It’s a popular high school, coming-of-age story by a first-time novelist. A New York high school overturned a ban request from a parent who stated that the book deals “graphically with teenage sex, homosexuality and bestiality,” however, the book has been successfully banned in other schools across the country.
2. This book was removed from a summer reading program in Michigan after parents complained about its “foul language.” It tells the story of an autistic child and the death of a neighborhood dog. In 2004 it won the Boeke Prize and in 2003 it won the Whitbread Book of the Year award.
3. A longtime member of the banned books list, this semi-autobiographical science fiction novel has the protagonist time traveling to important events and milestones in his life, including the bombing of Dresden in WWII. It has been called pornographic and has been cited for glorifying drinking, cursing, and premarital sex.
4. This autobiographical novel, with illustrations, tells the story of a young cartoonist who leaves his Indian reservation school in order to pursue his life and studies in the all-white world of the neighboring school. This young adult favorite has been banned for “pornographic language” and depicting scenes of sex and violence. It won the National Book Award in 2007.
5. This series of illustrated books for grade schoolers has often been challenged and banned by those who find that it is insensitive, unsuited for its intended age audience, and that it encourages children to disobey authority. The hero of the books is actually a hypnotized adult, Mr. Krupp, and the boys who are responsible are George and Harold.
6. This series of books that are enjoyed by all ages and are the basis for some of the most popular films of all time have been banned for promoting witchcraft, setting bad examples for youth, and for being “too dark.” Although most of the bans have since been overturned, there are still schools and libraries where these books and films are not welcome.
7. This beloved classic novel and movie is often on readers’ “Top 10” lists of their favorite books. It’s a story of growing up in a southern town in the 1930s and the trial of a black man accused of attacking a white girl. It is one of the most banned books in American history for “offensive language and racism,” but it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961.