As readers we can’t help but feel that books are great! Books are often used as educational tools to learn, but books are so much more than that. Books are tools that help us grow and help shape who we are. They are portals to new and exciting places that we can escape to. And sometimes, they are challenged and even banned.

This week is Banned Books Week, a week where we celebrate, not only all those challenged and banned books, but also the freedom to read any and all books.

Today, we’ll be sharing with you some challenged and/or banned books that you can check out from the North Bergen Public Library. If you would like to read these books and more banned books go to

Children’s Picture & Chapter Books

If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss (J-E Seuss)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: Racist material/content. 

Where’s Waldo by Martin Hanford (J-E Handford)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: Nudity

The Family Book by Todd Parr (J-E Parr)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: LBTQIA+ content

George by Alex Gino (J Fic Gino)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: Bad language and material that isn’t appropriate for young readers.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling (J Series Harry Potter)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: Dark, violent content and religious reasons.

Teen Books

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (YA Fic Alexie)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: vulgar language and subject matter, racist material, and anti-Christian content.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (YA Fic Chbosky)

Reason for Challenging/Banning:  inappropriate, depictions of teens using alcohol and drugs, and suicide.

Looking for Alaska by John Green (YA Fic Green)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: profanity and sexual content.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (YA Fic Thomas)

Reason for Challenging/Banning: profanity.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA Fic Anderson)

Reason for Challenging/Banning:  Rape and sexual content, profanity, and depictions of underage drinking.

Classics & Adult Books

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Reason for Challenging/Banning: contains profanity and sexual content.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Reason for Challenging/Banning: racial themes/content and profanity.

1984 by George Orwell

Reason for Challenging/Banning: promotes communism and sexual content/material.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Reason for Challenging/Banning: considered to be “filthy” due to profanity and sexual overtones.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Reason for Challenging/Banning: violent and sexual content.