Books

13 books you perhaps didn't know were once banned

It's Banned Books Week: From "Harry Potter" to "The Alchemist," here are popular works that have faced censorship somewhere in the world. Even the dictionary hasn't been spared.

Everybody has the right to read – that's the idea behind the Banned Books Week. The 35th edition of the annual celebration is held from September 24 to 30, 2017.

First organized in 1982 by the American Library Association and Amnesty International, the event aims to draw attention to the harms of censorship and book banning all around the world.

LGBT characters still controversial

The list of the most challenged books in 2016 contains titles such as "This One Summer" by Canadian artist Mariko Tamaki or "Drama" by American cartoonist Raina Telgemeier, which have been causing controversy due to inclusion of LGBT characters, drug use and profanity.

Read more: US evangelist preacher calls for 'Beauty and the Beast' boycott over gay character

Another publication – "George" by Alex Gino – has been challenged because it portrays a transgender child and includes "language, sex education and offensive viewpoints."

A monument commemorating banned books

The list of books that have been banned at one point or another offers reading material for an entire lifetime.

Watch video 00:47

The Parthenon of Books

In July 2017, a huge installation called "The Parthenon of Books" was built on Friedrichsplatz square in Kassel, the city that hosts the Documenta art exhibition. Made up of 100,000 banned books, it warned against censorship and persecution of writers.

Read more: Documenta cancels 'Auschwitz on the Beach' performance after hefty criticism

Click through the gallery above to discover popular works that have been banned somewhere in the world.

DW recommends

Audios and videos on the topic

Albanian Shqip

Amharic አማርኛ

Arabic العربية

Bengali বাংলা

Bosnian B/H/S

Bulgarian Български

Chinese (Simplified) 简

Chinese (Traditional) 繁

Croatian Hrvatski

Dari دری

English English

French Français

German Deutsch

Greek Ελληνικά

Hausa Hausa

Hindi हिन्दी

Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia

Kiswahili Kiswahili

Macedonian Македонски

Pashto پښتو

Persian فارسی

Polish Polski

Portuguese Português para África

Portuguese Português do Brasil

Romanian Română

Russian Русский

Serbian Српски/Srpski

Spanish Español

Turkish Türkçe

Ukrainian Українська

Urdu اردو