Features

Banned Books Resources Hub

At Penguin Random House, we believe in the right to freedom of expression and protecting writers against censorship. Reading is indispensable in having an informed, engaged democracy, and the dramatic rise in efforts to ban books in public schools and libraries—many of them by BIPOC or LGBTQ voices—threatens the advancement of our society and culture.

Giving Back

We are committed to advocating for our authors and supporting equitable access to books through ongoing partnerships with and donations to a wide range of associations and nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting free expression and the right to read.

We recently expanded our partnership with PEN America, an organization that champions the freedom to write and protects free expression, with a one-time gift of $100,000 to safeguard free speech and banned books. We will also increase our financial support of these issues over the next five years. 

Additional partner organizations include: 

Together with School Library Journal, we partnered with PEN America, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of EnglishFReadom, and Library Journal to create a poster that emphasizes the importance of free expression as book bans and challenges spread across the country. To learn more and download the poster, click here.

Events:

Banned Books: When Books Are Threatened, Where Do We Turn?

Facing threats of censorship and losing diverse perspectives, parents, teachers, and librarians are all asking the question “When books are threatened, where do we turn”? We hosted an evening of programming in partnership with PEN America dedicated to examining this pressing question. On the multi-faceted issue, we heard from concerned citizens navigating pathways of access and resistance on the ground, as well as authors who have faced some of the harshest calls for banning. Additionally, a representative from PEN America spoke about how we can support our targeted communities. The event culminated in a discussion with Ibram X. Kendi (How To Be An Antiracist), Nikole Hannah-Jones (The 1619 Project), and Nic Stone (Dear Martin), moderated by Dr. Emily Knox, associate professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne School of Information Sciences.

Resources

Are you a librarian, educator, parent, or creator being affected by book bans, or a concerned citizen looking to learn more and take action? Here are some resources that might help.

Resources for Educators 

Resources for Librarians

Resources for Parents 

Resources for Students

Resources for Authors and Illustrators 

Penguin Random House Banned Titles

Here are some Penguin Random House titles frequently challenged and banned*, but it is in no way exhaustive. If you have experienced bans on a book that is not included here, please click here to contact us. The Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top challenged books across publishers, which can be found here.

1984 by George Orwell

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippen by Jen Bryant

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Time to Kill by John Grisham

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

All Are Welcome by Alexa Penfold

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin   

Bless Me, Ultima By Rudolfo Anaya 

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah                                                               

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

City of Thieves By David Benioff

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Donovan’s Big Day by Leslea Newman

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Fences by August Wilson

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Frankenstein: The 1818 Text By Mary Shelley

Fresh Ink (Catch, Pull, Drive) edited by Lamar Giles

Girl Crushed by Katie Heaney

Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall
Hooked by Catherine Greenman

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

Grendel by John Gardner
Growing Up: It’s a Girl Thing by Mavis Jukes

I Am Jazz By Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Jack by A.M. Homes

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Last Night at the Telegraph Club By Malinda Lo

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Life is Funny by E.R. Frank

Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Looking for Alaska Deluxe Edition by John Green

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Mastiff by Tamora Pierce

Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale By Art Spiegelman

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

My Awful/Awesome Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky

Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Norwegian Wood (Movie Tie-in Edition) by Haruki Murakami

Obie Is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar

Odd One Out by Nic Stone

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

Ordinary People by Judith Guest

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood
Rage: A Love Story by Julie Ann Peters

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

Siddhartha By Hermann Hesse

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson 

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence and D.H. Lawrence

Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

The Call of the Wild by Jack London
The Center of the World by Andreas Steinhofel

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

The Color Purple By Alice Walker

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx 

The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney

The Freedom Writers Diary (20th Anniversary Edition) by The Freedom Writers and Erin Gruwell

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Guy Book: An Owner’s Manual for Teens by Mavis Jukes 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale (Graphic Novel) A NOVEL By Margaret Atwood Illustrated by Renee Nault

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The  Incendiaries By R. O. Kwon

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton Introduction by Jodi Picoult

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Testaments By Margaret Atwood

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

The World According to Garp by John Irving

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Thirteen Reasons Why 10th Anniversary Edition by Jay Asher

This is My America by Kim Johnson

This is Your Time by Ruby Bridges

Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume

Twelfth Night By William Shakespeare

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Ulysses by James Joyce

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

White Bird by R. J. Palacio

Wide Awake by David Levithan

Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

You Hear Me edited by Betty Franco

*A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. (American Library Association)