Censorship of books in the US is unfortunately back in the news, with LGBTQ+ books such as Gender Queer and All Boys Aren’t Blue being amongst the most-banned titles in school districts at the moment. But censorship has always been an issue in the US and back in the 2000s, conservatives had a different target – Harry Potter.
It seems hard to believe now, but when the Harry Potter books were at the peak of their popularity, some hardline Christian groups were opposed to it because witchcraft is “directly denounced” in the Bible, apparently. There were several burnings of Potter books in the US. It wasn’t just Christians who took issue with them, the books were also banned in all schools in the United Arab Emirates for being “contrary to Islamic values.”
Another fantasy high up on the list was His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, but this is hardly surprising as events in that series do escalate into a war that involves the ‘Authority,’ the ‘Magisterium,’ (which represent God and the church), as well as angels.
There are some surprising titles on the American Library Association’s list of the most-banned books of the 2000s. There are classics such as Of Mice and Men in the Top 10, as well as Huckleberry Finn, The Color Purple, and Catcher in the Rye in the Top 20.
It’s almost reassuring to see that Forever by Judy Blume was still on the list in the 2000s, after causing a stir in the late 70s, into the 80s, and 90s. The classics sit alongside newer titles with “naughty” titles such as Captain Underpants, The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, and Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging.
Check out our guide to the best teen movies.