11 {Banned} Books You Should Be Reading WITH Your Child

A while back a friend mentioned that she was reading “The Giver” for the first time because her junior high aged daughter was assigned the book for class.  “Get to the end before she does,” I warned. “Or at least get to the scene the baby twin before her.  It’s a doosey.:”

She did finish the book before her daughter and was glad to have done so.  That scene where you learn what the father is really in charge of doing at his job haunts me to this day.  It’s gripping, terrifying and incredibly sad, but it’s worth reading.

I recommend to most of my friends with older children, as they begin to navigate their schools literature selections that it’s not about keeping books out of a child’s reach, but knowing what they’re reading and when.  I encourage all parents to read the books their children are reading in school whether it’s Little House on the Prairie or Animal Farm.  Be able to engage your children about what they’re reading; challenge the lessons that other take away from the books particularly if you’re worried about the lessons they might be learning from other.  Encourage them to be the Devil’s Advocate in class and challenge (intelligently and respectfully) the notions of others.

In honor of Banned Books Week I offer my list of  
11 Banned Books You Should Be Reading WITH Your Child.


                            This is far from a complete list, rather a short list of books commonly found on English Class reading lists.  These are books that challenge our ideas of morality, government, sexuality, race and gender  These are challenged books because they are challenging.
                            There are so many more – Black Beauty, Harry Potter, The Bridge to Terebithia, Frankenstein, Howl, In the Night Kitchen, A Light in the Attic, The Witches, Their Eyes Were Watching God, – that you’ll encounter as your children discovery their library !

                             I would encourage any parent to request a reading list from your children’s teachers each year  This is not a stunt to control your child’s reading material, but rather to encourage you, the parent, to have a better understanding of what issues and ideas are going on in your child’s mind. You children will come face to face with very challenging reading material as they get older – I encourage you, as a parent, to face that challenge head on by engaging with your children as they read and  creating a dialogue at home about the images and ideas they’re confronting for the first time. 

                            This is not about approving of everything your child might be assigned to read at school or every book they find at the library or is recommended by a friend – it’s about walking alongside your child as they develop their tastes, interests and opinions.

                            Go Here to see a more complete list of challenged and banned books – what’s your favorite?

                            This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.

                            “You Want Weapons?  We’re in a Library!  
                            The Best Weapons in the World!”
                            – Doctor Who 

                            5 thoughts on “11 {Banned} Books You Should Be Reading WITH Your Child

                            1. It is an old idea – so strange today with our ability to share ideas so readily and freely! But all the books mentioned have, at one point been banned by a government, school, library or at least challenged (meaning someone, some where didn't want some one else to read it). Many of these books were often challenged as reading material in a particular school district for various reasons having to do with their subject matter. =)


                            2. I remember loving The Giver. I had no idea it was banned! That's crazy.

                              I always loved going to the library with my dad. He would always look at the books I was getting, and that would always begin a dialogue for us. I would share with him my thoughts throughout reading the book, and those times were so precious to me. He took the time to listen to me and to discuss with me, and that made me feel so special 🙂

                              Thank you for sharing this list and reminding us to spend that quality time discussing these important topics with our children.


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