Forty-three percent


The top 10 books of 2006 have been announced; and “And tango makes three” tops the list. If you haven’t read it, it is extremely cute. If you are having a baby soon (and I know you to the extent that I might send you a gift), you may be getting this as your gift, so watch out. So after looking at the list, reading this article and thinking about the fact that banned book week starts today, I thought it would be good to see how many of the 100 most challenged books of 1990-2000 I had read. Below you will find the list. Books in bold are ones I remember having read. Books in bold italics are ones that I remember as being life altering, one of my favorites, or having a huge impact. Overall, I would say that many of the best books I have ever read are on this list. Many other favorites can be found on other banned lists.

Finally, if you are looking for a book to read, let me suggest any of the following:

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier


  1. While I *love* “And Tango Makes Three,” I have to say, it’s really a preschool or older book.

    Noah’s attention span is just waaaaaaay to short. Plus he’s only just starting to be able to read paper books without tearing the pages. Board books are still his favorites — they’re easier, and he can chew on them once he’s done reading.

  2. Very true. It really is a(n adorable) book for older kids. That said, I don’t really know any of those (my sister’s kids not included), so I am into library building for the future.

  3. Holy. Cow. That is a long list. You lost me at #11. *L*

    I actually love to read but I it’s very late and all those books kind of blow me away.

    I have three daddies, that would make a great book to read, huh?

  4. To Kill a Mockingbird is a life altering book and movie. A richly detailed book on southern living, the pace of life, racial attitudes and the antics of two children who remind me of my elder sister and I so much. Atticus set an ideal or me of a man holding true to beliefs despite what the populus may feel otherwise. Mary Anne loved ‘A wrinkle in Time’. A book that makes you think out of the box and beyond our 3 dimensional world.

  5. Clare — Did you notice how many of these books were on the “Battle of the Books” lists over the 3 years that you participated in that event? It is a good sign that you were encouraged by those lists to read those books – many of which became favorites at the time. I bought our first Harry Potter book when I read that people were trying to have it banned from the schools.

  6. I agree To Kill a Mockingbird is very powerful. I am pretty sure we read it in AP Lit and watched the movie. I had already read the book (a consistent problem with my awful AP lit teacher as she hated it when we “got ahead”), but I hadn’t seen the movie.

    Mom, I did notice how many were on the Battle of the Books list. I also noticed, when I was going through boxes and getting rid of stuff 3 years ago how many of the battle of the books books I couldn’t bear to part with. They are taking up a hefty chunk of space in my storage unit!

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