Keeping Up With The Penguins

Reviews For The Would-Be Booklover

Banned Books Reading Challenge

Even though Banned Books Week is an American celebration, spearheaded by the wonderful folks at the American Library Association, I like to think of myself as an honourary beneficiary and advocate across the pond. Books are banned everywhere in the world – including here at home, in Australia – and as such the right to read should be of concern to all of us, no matter where we live.

This year, as well as reading banned books, I’ve decided to actively encourage others to read them as well. It shouldn’t be too hard – after all, if someone wants to stop us reading them, they must be good, right? Here’s a Banned Books Reading Challenge to get you started.

I’ve gone through the lists of most-frequently banned books for each year over the past two decades, and distilled them into this (printable!) bingo card, if you’re brave enough to give it a go. It’s a mixture of books, old and new, but they have one thing in common: someone, somewhere, has wanted to ban others from being able to read them. Not on our watch!

If you can’t work out where to start, check out these reviews from the banned books reading challenge:

How many of these banned books have you read? Did you get bingo on this banned books reading challenge? Let me know in the comments below (and recommend another banned book that’s worth a read, if you like!).


  1. I’ve read 10 of the books and even got one line! I’m going to keep reading and aim for a full card. Great idea

  2. Oh wow, there are some real beauties there. I’ve only read six, but all half dozen were great and undeserving of being banned. Yet it’s as you say; if spoilsports want to go to all that trouble, we can’t help wondering why.
    Another one that springs to mind is Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, for whatever reason 🙂

    • ShereeKUWTP

      October 5, 2021 at 11:42 AM

      Ooft, Dr Seuss is a whole other barrel – I could probably write a whole other post on the merits (and otherwise) of those books, and how/why they’ve courted controversy over the years!

  3. I love a good book bingo card! I’ve read 4 on yours (not in a bingo though) and own 4 others that I haven’t gotten to yet. Just started Gone With the Wind which I believe was banned in CA in the 70s.

    • ShereeKUWTP

      October 5, 2021 at 11:41 AM

      Oooh, yes, I’ve got that one on my shelf to-be-read, but having seen the film a few times over I can imagine there’d be plenty of people who’d find its content objectionable. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it! (And let me know when you get bingo! 😉)

  4. I couldn’t download the pdf, but I’m going to get on this reading list.

    • Sheree

      April 10, 2023 at 1:31 PM

      Oops, don’t know what’s happened there Kim, but I’m happy to email the PDF to you directly if you like? 🙂

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