Challenged Children's Books

Books for audiences of all ages have been challenged over the years. Here is a sampling of some of the challenged titles and the reasons they were challenged.

A Wrinkle in Time, 1963 winner of the Newbery Award, was one of the most often challenged books of the 1990s. In the story, a girl named Meg is transported through time and space with her brother and a friend to rescue her scientist-father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. This novel has been challenged for undermining religious beliefs.

The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm have been challenged many times for a number of reasons including racism, violence, anti-Semitic references and negative portrayal of female characters. More specifically, Hansel and Gretel has been challenged for teaching children that it is okay to kill witches, as well as portraying witches as child-eating monsters. Little Red Riding Hood has been challenged for violence, considering Little Red Riding Hood's actions upon the Big Bad Wolf. Also called in to question was the appropriateness of the girl bringing wine to her grandmother and her grandmother later drinking the wine. Snow White was also challenged for violence because a hunter kills a wild boar, and because of the wicked witch's evil wishes toward Snow White.

Other classic fairy tales have been challenged, too. A 1994 version of The Little Mermaid was challenged its illustrations. Bare-breasted mermaids were called pornographic, and the book was seen as containing "satanic pictures."

Speaking of Satan, the Harry Potter books have been challenged for containing Satanism as well as witchcraft, wizardry, cults, death, hate, and dark content.

The Narnia books, a series of seven high fantasy books, have been challenged on the grounds of portraying graphic violence, mysticism, and gore.

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax, a story about a boy from a ruined town who endeavors to find out how the town was destroyed, has been challenged for criminalizing the foresting industry.