4 Classic Books You Won’t Believe Were Banned in American Schools

They are still required reads in many schools

Adam Rains


Photo by Fred Kearney on Unsplash

For students returning to school, it’s easy to assume that literature is comprised of sterile works written by dead white guys that no longer apply today. However, one of the purposes of art is to provoke a reaction, and literature is no exception. Some school districts, in fact, have banned masterpieces because officials considered them too influential for impressionable youngsters to consume. Here are four books that you won’t believe were banned.

1. Diary of a Young Girl

Image courtesy: Goodreads

Anne Frank’s classic re-telling of her experience in the Nazi-held Netherlands is one of the most well-known, and arguably most compelling, of the Holocaust survivor’s accounts. The book was banned primarily because of sexually explicit passages; however, Alabama had a unique reason for not allowing Diary in schools: it was a “real downer.” Apparently, Alabama only believes in teaching upbeat and optimistic stories about racism, genocide, and concentration camps.

2. Little House on The Prairie

Little House, written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, recounts a young girl’s experiences, and like Frank, Wilder wrote of the events as they happened. However, even if the true-to-life events had educational value, schools in South Dakota took offense with the terms used to describe the Native Americans. Like with some slave narratives, the term used was one that was perfectly acceptable when the events were happening, but later fell out of favor.

3. The Grapes of Wrath

Steinbeck’s fictional account of the “dust bowl” and the Great Depression is often taught in high schools to…



Adam Rains

Spreadsheet Warrior. Reluctantly travels the world. Studies history and international relations.