Books That Were Banned For The Most Amusing Reasons

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons

Ever since the advent of movable type centuries ago, governments and people in power have been banning books. Books can carry and spread words and ideas that some people may find threatening. Today, banning is typically on the account of very concerned parents and/or religious reasons.

Check out this list for the books that were banned for the most amusing reasons!

1. Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons

What it’s about: The Captain Underpants series is a laugh-out-loud, easy to read, children’s story about two troublemaking boys and their strict principal (who, unbeknownst to himself has a super dopey, superhero alterego). Kids love the series because of its easy humour and its low word density (with only a few sentences per page, and expansive pictures on each).

Why it was banned: The American Library Association decided that jokes about poop and toilets were too obscene for school children and in fact, “insensitive” to their age. As the main characters loved to pull pranks and had a taste for doing whatever they wanted, some people believed the series would encourage kids to disobey authority.

To quote Dav Pikley, “What’s the big deal?” 


The Rabbit’s Wedding by Garth Williams

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons

What it’s about: 
The Rabbit’s Wedding is a picture book about two rabbits that fall in love. They hop, play games and skip together. Finally the male rabbit asks to marry the female one and they live happily ever after in their sweet, idyllic forest. A quote from the book goes, “Then they picked dandelions and put them in their ears.”

Why it was banned: Plot twist — the male bunny happens to have black fur while the female rabbit has white fur. Don’t see the problem? Well, this book was published in 1958 Alabama. The state accused the book of promoting racial intermarriage and opposing segregation laws.


The Witches by Roald Dahl

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons

What it’s about: 
A boy unknowingly stumbles upon a convention of scary witches and is turned into a mouse. And instead of moping about his new body, he bravely dedicates the rest of his time to overthrowing the witches’ plot to turn all the children in the world into mice. And since it’s Roald Dahl, of course it’s all told in an extremely humorous fashion.

Why it was banned: Despite the overarching themes of kid power and courage, the American Library Association banned this book for alleged “misogyny against women” due to the very scary style in which the witches were described. To which Roald Dahl very reasonably commented, “Most witches are women.”


Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons

What it’s about: Set in a dystopian future, society and human life is completely industrialized. Babies come from factories and recreational sex and drug taking is encouraged — everyone belongs to everyone and yet belong only to themselves. Then the main character goes to a native society, where people still have feelings and family life still exists, which is when the story takes off.

Why it was banned: While it’s a classic book in literature now, when it was first published, it was banned immediately in Ireland for “anti-family” and “anti-religion” themes. Missouri also placed a ban on this book for “making promiscuous sex seem fun,” which is ironic because the book was showing an overwhelmingly positive light to the native (more natural) community as opposed to the dystopia.


The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons



What it’s about: Chemistry. Need I say more?

Why it was banned:  This book instilled such a love for science to one boy in Detroit that he was inspired to obtain a sample of each element and build a model nuclear reactor. Instead of just placing the blame on the boy himself, this inspirational science book was banned, despite the hundred of other boys and girls who did not in fact try to take over the world after reading it.


Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

books that were banned for the most amusing reasons


What it’s about: Tarzan is the classic story of a man raised by gorillas on a tropical island, who then encounters humans who have been marooned on their island. As Tarzan gets to know these strangers like himself, he falls in love with Jane, one of the party. And of course, Tarzan has been made into that classic Disney movie.

Why it was banned: Controversy for this novel came from Jane and Tarzan’s living together out of wedlock, and therefore “living in sin”. It was banned in California, clearly by those that unfortunately lacked a single romantic bone in their body. We mustn’t be too hard on them.


Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

books banned for the most amusing reasons

What it’s about: Though not strictly a book, this classic Shakespearean play often takes the form of a book when being studied in school. If you’ve seen She’s the Man, you basically know the plot of Twelfth Night. A woman disguises herself as a man (her twin brother) while trying to discover where he’s gone. Throughout which, she confuses the feelings of everyone as everybody falls in love with the wrong person.

Why it was banned: The fun crossdressing element was deemed inappropriate by schools in New Hampshire. They argued that this play promoted an “alternative lifestyle” that they could not condone. In other words, girls should not wear boys’ clothing. It seems silly that a play that has lasted centuries is banned in our “modern” era.

[quote_center]Which book’s reason for banning amused you most?[/quote_center]

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