|In the Night Kitchen|
by Maurice Sendak
Sendak's picture book about a young boy's surreal dream has faced repeated resistance since its publication in 1970. In 1992, it was challenged in the Salem-Keizer School District due to its depiction of frontal nudity. In 1995, it was opposed for the same reason by a parent at Beaverton's Beaver Acres Elementary School and by a teacher at Canby's William Knight Elementary School (who also added that the book could contribute to sexual abuse). In 1997, it was challenged once again at La Pine Elementary School.
|A Light in the Attic|
by Shel Silverstein
A perennial favorite, Shel Silverstein's collection of poems was challenged in both the Salem-Keizer Public Schools and the Eagle Point School District, for the possibility of provoking children to "act in opposition to family taught behavior and values" and exposing children to frightening or gory material.
|The True Story of the Three Little Pigs|
by Jon Scieszka
This fractured fairy tale from 1989 promotes the idea that the Big, Bad Wolf was actually a victim of the nefarious Little Pigs. It was challenged in the Douglas County Library System in 1994 because it "makes the wolf look like a good guy in a bad way," and the book is not proper to read to children.
|The Enormous Crocodile|
by Roald Dahl
One of Dahl's lesser-known works, this middle reader about a very hungry and greedy crocodile was challenged on the book's "sinister nature and the negative action of animals particularly against children" at the Multnomah County Library in 1987.
|Ramona the Brave|
by Beverly Cleary
The beloved Ramona Quimby by Oregon's own Beverly Cleary was challenged in 1993 at the Salem-Kezier School District for taking Jesus's name in vain.
|Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone|
by J. K. Rowling
The first part of Rowling's legendary Harry Potter series was released in 1997 and has been challenged countless times since then. It was opposed at Bend's Three Rivers Elementary School in 2000 due to its references to witchcraft and concerns that the book could "lead children to hatred and rebellion."
|Wayside School Is Falling Down|
by Louis Sachar
This sequel to Sideways Stories from Wayside School, first published in 1989, was challenged at the Multnomah County Library in 1998. The content of the book allegedly undermines value systems and teaches children to disrespect people and property.
|Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark|
by Alvin Schwartz
The short stories collected in this 1981 volume are frightening, and the illustrations are worse. In fact, when the book was challenged in the Salem-Keizer Public Schools in 1990, "Satanic illustrations" were cited as one of the primary offenses. book a room fulmira The challenger also called the book poorly written, and declared that it "promotes evil intent and preying upon the innocent."
|Wait Till Helen Comes|
by Mary Downing Hahn
This 1986 horror novel was challenged at Astoria's Astor Elementary School in 1990. The cover art was deemed too frightening, and the disputer took issue with the questionable characterization of the protagonists' parents, the realistic writing style, and the book's "portrayal of death in a hopeless way that could frighten children."
|A Wrinkle in Time|
by Madeleine L'Engle
Madeleine L'Engle's Newbery Award–winning classic was challenged in 1990 at the Mid Valley Elementary School in Hood River County on the grounds of sorcery, witchcraft, magic, and having a demonic character.
by Holly Black
Holly Black's modern fairy tale was challenged at a public library in 2008 for sexually explicit content and drug use.
|Then Again, Maybe I Won't|
by Judy Blume
Judy Blume's novel about a boy's turbulent adolescence was challenged at the Salem-Keizer School District in 1989. Reasons: it is a "dismal tale of a young boy's inability to cope and his very inappropriate responses to the changes taking place in his life," and conveys a "detrimental attitude towards a child's natural development and raises questions about sexual arousal that elementary school students are too young to experience and would leave them with the wrong attitude about the opposite sex."
|The Chocolate War|
by Robert Cormier
The Chocolate War's accolades include ALA Best Book for Young Adults and New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year. Cormier's tale of conformity and cruelty was challenged at Lake Oswego Junior High School in 2007 for "filthy profanities" including derogatory slang terms, sexual encounters, and violence.
|The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian|
by Sherman Alexie
Alexie's National Book Award–winning first novel for young adults is one of the most frequently challenged books in the country. In 2014, several people challenged its use in the Sweet Home 8th grade language arts class "because of its use of words not allowed by the student code of conduct and its discussion of sexual matters."
Outcome: Retained for 8th graders. The school board voted to keep the book as long as parents were informed of a specific alternative lesson in a timely fashion.
|Annie on My Mind|
by Nancy Garden
This Margaret A. Edwards Award–winning book about a lesbian relationship between two teenagers was groundbreaking when it was published in 1982. For its positive portrayal of a homosexual relationship, it has been challenged at the Cedar Mill Community Library in 1988, the Salem Public Library in 1990, the Multnomah County Library in 1990 and 1995, and Bend High School in 1993.
|Dreams of Significant Girls|
by Cristina García
García's first young adult book about three friends who meet at boarding school was challenged at a public library right after its 2011 release. There was concern that the book promoted wrongdoing and provided negative role models for teenage girls, in addition to being sexually explicit and containing references to nudity, drugs, and suicide.
|The Color Purple|
by Alice Walker
Alice Walker's most famous novel was challenged as a selection for Junction High School's English class by a local minister and members of Parents for Academic Excellence in 1995. In addition to such offenses as crude words and perverse and destructive values, the criticizers noted that the book "even has God condoning lesbian sex."
by John Gardner
Gardner's popular retelling of the Beowulf legend from the monster's viewpoint was challenged by parents in the Sherwood School District in 2008. They requested that it be removed from the sophomore English honors reading list, citing concerns about scenes describing torture and mutilation.
|The Clan of the Cave Bear|
by Jean M. Auel
Auel's prehistoric novel about a group of Neanderthals was challenged by a parent at the Cascade Middle School library in Eugene. Concerns about a rape scene in the book, and that students might try the sexual acts and values depicted in the book, actually led to its removal from the library in 1992.
|The Big Book of Hell|
by Matt Groening
Life in Hell, the iconic cartoon strip by Simpsons creator Matt Groening, features anthropomorphic rabbits and a gay couple. The anthology was challenged at the Multnomah County Library in 1992 for being unsuitable for children.
by Shirley Jackson
When The Lottery was initially published in the New Yorker, it was immediately hailed as one of the most terrifying stories of the 20th century. It was ultimately challenged at the Salem-Keizer School District for its portrayal of morbid and grotesque ideas.
by Peter Shaffer
In 1994, a parent at Redmond High School requested that Peter Shaffer's Tony Award–winning play be removed from a sophomore honors required reading list. The parent disapproved of sexual messages, objectionable language, and "Christian insults."
Outcome: Removed from required list; still on supplemental list with parental permission required, and in the school library.
|The House Made of Dawn|
by N. Scott Momaday
The 1969 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel and seminal Native American work was challenged at Troutdale's Reynolds High School in 1989. Reason: two pages of sexually explicit material.
|The Bluest Eye|
by Toni Morrison
Morrison's first book, about a black girl who longs to have white skin and blue eyes, was published in 1970 and helped to win her the Nobel Prize in Literature. A frequently challenged book, it was called out in the Portland Public Schools in 2004 for graphic, violent, and sexual content.
|A Thousand Splendid Suns|
by Khaled Hosseini
Described by Hosseini as a "mother-daughter story," A Thousand Splendid Suns takes on Afghanistan's violent history and the role of women in Afghan society. It was challenged in a 2010 freshman English honors class at The Dalles High School for depictions of sex and brutality toward women.
|Flowers in the Attic|
by V. C. Andrews
The famous 1979 novel, relating the grisly tale of four children held captive in an attic, has been banned repeatedly across the country. It was challenged at the Douglas County Library System in 1990 for "the author's presentation of a girl liking a rape; misinformation about whether pregnancy can result; and an implied incestuous relationship with her brother."
by Stephen King
King's post-apocalyptic tome faced opposition in 1989 at the Whitford Intermediate School Library in Beaverton, and again in 1997 in the Douglas County Library System, for language, graphic sexual scenes, and violence.
Outcomes: Restricted to ninth-grade students with parental consent at Whitford; retained at Douglas County Library.
|Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People|
by Amy Sedaris
Comedian Amy Sedaris's playfully unconventional crafting book was challenged in an Oregon public library in 2011 out of concern that two of the projects promote sexual activity. The individual requested that the book be restricted to patrons age 19 years and older.
by Daniel H. Wilson
Wilson's sci-fi thriller chronicling an epic war between humans and robots was challenged at a public library in 2012. The patron, a parent, cited offensive language as the misdeed.
by Bret Easton Ellis
Multiple countries have restricted sales of Ellis's controversial novel featuring the infamous Patrick Bateman — a Manhattan yuppie and serial killer whose crimes, including rape, torture, and dismemberment, are narrated in graphic detail. It was challenged at the Multnomah County Library in 1991 as inappropriate "because of what it depicts about human behavior."