Banned & Challenged Books

By Caroline O'Connor | March 22 2022 | AdultsChildren'sAll

It is a very unfortunate and frightening reality that book banning and censorship has been on the rise. Penguin Random House is determined to counteract these harmful actions in any way we can. Our CEO of Penguin Random House U.S., Madeline McIntosh, said it best below. Please read her statement and visit Penguin Random House’s Banned Books Resources Hub for more information.

 

“Of all the bad things citizens have to worry about these days, there’s one in particular that I just can’t believe is still with us: book banning.

As publishers, we are grounded by our beliefs in the inherent value of the open exchange of ideas, and in the power of narratives to broaden perspectives and strengthen human empathy. But these beliefs, and the equitable access to books they support, are under serious threat. Book bans are not new, but the dramatic increase in the number of bans and challenges, along with the tactics being used, is unprecedented.

At Penguin Random House, we are dedicated to protecting the freedom of expression and carry an obligation to protect writers from censorship. To underscore this commitment, we have created a Banned Books Resources Hub featuring tools, materials, and organizations that our valued partners… can turn to as bans and challenges spread across the country. The Hub also contains a contact form for people to report new instances of PRH titles being banned so we can better track these increasingly widespread conflicts… We will remain steadfast in our defense of the freedom to read and to our commitment to combatting censorship.”

 

Full title list of: Penguin Random House Banned & Challenged Books


Banned or Challenged Books and Why


 

The Name Jar
978-0-375-80613-1
A heartwarming story about the new girl in school, and how she learns to appreciate her Korean name. 
$17.99 US
Jul 19, 2022
8-1/2 x 11
Hardcover
40 Pages
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Age 5-8 years

Pet
978-0-593-17544-6
Now in paperback, the National Book Award finalist and genre-defying novel by award-winning author Akwaeke Emezi that explores themes of identity and justice. Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look?
$9.99 US
Jan 19, 2021
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
224 Pages
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Age 12 and up

My Rainbow
978-1-9848-1460-9
A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.
$17.99 US
Oct 20, 2020
8-1/2 x 10-3/4
Hardcover
32 Pages
Kokila
Age 4-8 years

The Magic Fish
(A Graphic Novel)
978-0-593-12529-8
In this gorgeous graphic novel that Entertainment Weekly called "one of the most astounding . . . of the year," fairy tales are the only way one teen boy can express himself to his parents, who are Vietnamese immigrants. But how will he find the words to tell them that he's gay?
$23.99 US
Oct 13, 2020
5-3/4 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
256 Pages
Random House Graphic
Age 12 and up

Antiracist Baby Picture Book
978-0-593-11050-8
From the National Book Award-winning author of Stamped from the Beginning and How to Be an Antiracist comes a new 9x9 picture book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves, now with added discussion prompts to help readers recognize and reflect on bias in their daily lives.
$8.99 US
Jul 14, 2020
9 x 9
Hardcover
32 Pages
Kokila
Age 0-3 years

The Color Purple
A Novel
978-0-14-313569-2
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Alice Walker's iconic modern classic is now a Penguin Book.A powerful cultural touchstone of modern American literature, The Color Purple depicts the lives of African American women in early twentieth-century rural Georgia. Separated as girls, sisters Celie and Nettie sustain their loyalty to and hope in each other across time, distance and silence. Through a series of letters spanning twenty years, first from Celie to God, then the sisters to each other despite the unknown, the novel draws readers into its rich and memorable portrayals of Celie, Nettie, Shug Avery and Sofia and their experience. The Color Purple broke the silence around domestic and sexual abuse, narrating the lives of women through their pain and struggle, companionship and growth, resilience and bravery. Deeply compassionate and beautifully imagined, Alice Walker's epic carries readers on a spirit-affirming journey towards redemption and love.
$17.00 US
Dec 10, 2019
5-5/16 x 8
Paperback
304 Pages
Penguin Books

The Awakening
A Novel
978-1-9848-5436-0
An exciting repackage of Kate Chopin's classic novel as part of the Modern Library's "Torchbearer" series, featuring a new introduction written by National Book Award finalist, Carmen Maria Machado.
$8.00 US
Jun 18, 2019
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
240 Pages
Modern Library

Ziggy, Stardust and Me
978-0-525-51764-1
In this tender-hearted debut, set against the tumultuous backdrop of life in 1973, when homosexuality is still considered a mental illness, two boys defy all the odds and fall in love.
$18.99 US
Aug 06, 2019
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
368 Pages
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Age 12 and up

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
978-1-5247-0051-5
The National Book Award Finalist and instant New York Times bestseller that's partThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and part Jane the Virgin.
$11.99 US
Mar 05, 2019
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
368 Pages
Ember
Age 14 and up

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
978-0-399-55531-2
The very first picture book about the incredibly inspiring history of the Gay Pride Flag!
$17.99 US
Apr 10, 2018
8-3/4 x 11
Hardcover
48 Pages
Random House Books for Young Readers
Age 5-8 years

The Story of Ferdinand
978-0-425-29111-5
For the first time ever, this classic is available in board book!
$8.99 US
Aug 01, 2017
7-1/2 x 7-3/4
Board Book
34 Pages
Viking Books for Young Readers
Age 3-5 years

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
40th Anniversary Special Edition
978-1-101-99388-0
A stunning repackage of Mildred D. Taylor's Newbery Award-winning masterpiece with cover art by two-time Caldecott Honor Award winner Kadir Nelson and an introduction by Jacqueline Woodson, just in time for its 40th Anniversary!
$19.99 US
Jan 05, 2016
6 x 9
Hardcover
304 Pages
Dial Books
Age 8-12 years

Two Boys Kissing
978-0-307-93191-7
New York Times bestseller David Levithan comes full circle with the story of a momentous kiss.
$10.99 US
May 12, 2015
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Paperback
224 Pages
Ember
Age 14 and up

I Am Jazz
978-0-8037-4107-2
The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere"This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty."—Laverne Cox (who plays Sophia in “Orange Is the New Black”)From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
$17.99 US
Sep 04, 2014
10-1/2 x 9
Hardcover
32 Pages
Dial Books
Age 4-8 years

In Cold Blood
978-0-8129-9438-4
From the Modern Library comes a newly repackaged hardcover edition of the classic from Truman Capote.
$24.00 US
Feb 19, 2013
5-3/8 x 8
Hardcover
416 Pages
Modern Library

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
978-1-4000-5218-9
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells--taken without her knowledge in 1951--became one of the most important tools in medicine, bought and sold by the billions, with devastating effects on her family. Now in paperback, this phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of ethics, race, and medicine colliding; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter's persistent desire to know her mother.
$17.00 US
Mar 08, 2011
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
400 Pages
Crown

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
978-0-8129-8002-8
Featuring a heartrending new foreword by Oprah Winfrey and the classic artwork from the original 1970 edition, this repackaged edition of Maya Angelou's groundbreaking literary debut is presented anew for adoring fans and first-time readers alike.
$18.00 US
Apr 21, 2009
5-5/8 x 8-1/4
Paperback
304 Pages
Random House Trade Paperbacks

The Bluest Eye
978-0-307-27844-9
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the acclaimed Nobel Prize winner—a powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity that asks questions about race, class, and gender with characteristic subtly and grace. In Morrison’s acclaimed first novel, Pecola Breedlove—an 11-year-old Black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others—prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning, and the tragedy of its fulfillment. Here, Morrison’s writing is “so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry” (The New York Times).
$16.00 US
May 08, 2007
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
224 Pages
Vintage

Lord of the Flies
978-0-399-50148-7
Golding’s iconic 1954 novel, now with a new foreword by Lois Lowry, remains one of the greatest books ever written for young adults and an unforgettable classic for readers of any age.   This edition includes a new Suggestions for Further Reading by Jennifer Buehler.At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.
$11.00 US
Dec 16, 2003
4-3/16 x 7-1/2
Mass Market Paperback
224 Pages
Penguin Books

Animal Farm
75th Anniversary Edition
978-0-452-28424-1
75th Anniversary Edition—Includes a New Introduction by Téa ObrehtGeorge Orwell's timeless and timely allegorical novel—a scathing satire on a downtrodden society’s blind march towards totalitarianism.SOON TO BE A NETFLIX FILM!“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”A farm is taken over by its overworked, mistreated animals. With flaming idealism and stirring slogans, they set out to create a paradise of progress, justice, and equality. Thus the stage is set for one of the most telling satiric fables ever penned—a razor-edged fairy tale for grown-ups that records the evolution from revolution against tyranny to a totalitarianism just as terrible.  When Animal Farm was first published, Stalinist Russia was seen as its target. Today it is devastatingly clear that wherever and whenever freedom is attacked, under whatever banner, the cutting clarity and savage comedy of George Orwell’s masterpiece have a meaning and message still ferociously fresh.With a foreword by Ann Patchett
$16.00 US
May 06, 2003
5-7/16 x 8
Paperback
128 Pages
Berkley

The Handmaid's Tale
A Novel
978-0-385-49081-8
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (The New York Times). Now an award-winning Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss.Look for The Testaments, the bestselling, award-winning the sequel to The Handmaid’s TaleIn Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive. At once a scathing satire, an ominous warning, and a tour de force of narrative suspense, The Handmaid’s Tale is a modern classic.Includes an introduction by Margaret Atwood
$15.95 US
Mar 16, 1998
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
336 Pages
Anchor

Slaughterhouse-Five
A Novel
978-0-385-33384-9
Kurt Vonnegut’s masterpiece, Slaughterhouse-Five is “a desperate, painfully honest attempt to confront the monstrous crimes of the twentieth century” (Time). Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time  Slaughterhouse-Five, an American classic, is one of the world’s great antiwar books. Centering on the infamous World War II firebombing of Dresden, the novel is the result of what Kurt Vonnegut described as a twenty-three-year struggle to write a book about what he had witnessed as an American prisoner of war. It combines historical fiction, science fiction, autobiography, and satire in an account of the life of Billy Pilgrim, a barber’s son turned draftee turned optometrist turned alien abductee. As Vonnegut had, Billy experiences the destruction of Dresden as a POW. Unlike Vonnegut, he experiences time travel, or coming “unstuck in time.” An instant bestseller, Slaughterhouse-Five made Kurt Vonnegut a cult hero in American literature, a reputation that only strengthened over time, despite his being banned and censored by some libraries and schools for content and language. But it was precisely those elements of Vonnegut’s writing—the political edginess, the genre-bending inventiveness, the frank violence, the transgressive wit—that have inspired generations of readers not just to look differently at the world around them but to find the confidence to say something about it. Authors as wide-ranging as Norman Mailer, John Irving, Michael Crichton, Tim O’Brien, Margaret Atwood, Elizabeth Strout, David Sedaris, Jennifer Egan, and J. K. Rowling have all found inspiration in Vonnegut’s words. Jonathan Safran Foer has described Vonnegut as “the kind of writer who made people—young people especially—want to write.” George Saunders has declared Vonnegut to be “the great, urgent, passionate American writer of our century, who offers us . . . a model of the kind of compassionate thinking that might yet save us from ourselves.”More than fifty years after its initial publication at the height of the Vietnam War, Vonnegut’s portrayal of political disillusionment, PTSD, and postwar anxiety feels as relevant, darkly humorous, and profoundly affecting as ever, an enduring beacon through our own era’s uncertainties.
$17.00 US
Jan 12, 1999
5-1/4 x 8
Paperback
288 Pages
Dial Press Trade Paperback

His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (Book 1)
978-0-679-87924-4
HIS DARK MATERIALS IS NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SERIES STARRING DAFNE KEEN, RUTH WILSON, ANDREW SCOTT, AND LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as a “Top 100 Book of All Time.” Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal--including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.But what Lyra doesn't know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other...A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman's award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which continues with The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.A #1 New York Times BestsellerWinner of the Guardian Prize for Children's FictionPublished in 40 Countries"Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years." —The Washington Post "Very grand indeed." —The New York Times"Pullman is quite possibly a genius." —NewsweekDon't miss Philip Pullman's epic new trilogy set in the world of His Dark Materials!** THE BOOK OF DUST **La Belle SauvageThe Secret Commonwealth
$20.00 US
Apr 16, 1996
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
Hardcover
416 Pages
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Age 10 and up

The Diary of a Young Girl
The Definitive Edition
978-0-385-48033-8
THE DEFINITIVE EDITION • Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.Updated for the 75th Anniversary of the Diary’s first publication with a new introduction by Nobel Prize–winner Nadia Murad“The single most compelling personal account of the Holocaust ... remains astonishing and excruciating.”—The New York Times Book ReviewIn 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.
$14.00 US
Feb 01, 1996
5-3/16 x 8
Paperback
368 Pages
Anchor

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
978-0-451-16396-7
An international bestseller and the basis for the hugely successful film, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of the defining works of the 1960s.In this classic novel, Ken Kesey’s hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women, and openly defies the rules at every turn. But this defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, backed by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story’s shocking climax.“BRILLIANT!”—Time“A SMASHING ACHIEVEMENT...A TRULY ORIGINAL NOVEL!”—Mark Schorer“Mr. Kesey has created a world that is convincing, alive and glowing within its own boundaries...His is a large, robust talent, and he has written a large, robust book.”—Saturday Review
$9.99 US
Feb 01, 1963
4-3/16 x 7-1/2
Mass Market Paperback
336 Pages
Berkley