Stack of books wrapped in chains representing banned or challenged books
Sound Off on Censorship: Listens for Banned Books Week

During Banned Books Week (September 26th to October 2nd), we’re joining the rest of the literary community to celebrate freedom of speech and to stand up for the right to hear powerful stories. The titles below are the audio editions of the most frequently challenged or banned books, and also some of the most highly acclaimed. Proudly declare that you listen to banned books!

In Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison follows Milkman Dead from his rustbelt city to the place of his family’s origins, and introduces an entire cast of strivers and seeresses, liars and assassins, the inhabitants of a fully realized Black world.

Author: J.K. Rowling
Read By: Jim Dale

Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards in the iconic Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Jazz Jennings is one of the youngest and most prominent voices in the national discussion about gender identity. At the age of five, Jazz transitioned to life as a girl, with the support of her parents. In her remarkable memoir Being Jazz, Jazz reflects on these very public experiences and how they have helped shape the mainstream attitude toward the transgender community.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, Eleanor & Park is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Author: John Steinbeck
Read By: Gary Sinise

In Of Mice & Men, George and his friend Lenny dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own: a couple of acres and a few pigs, chickens, and rabbits back in Hill Country where land is cheap. But after they come to work on a ranch in the fertile Salinas Valley of California, their hopes begin to go awry.

Author: Maya Angelou
Read By: Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. Maya Angelou’s memoir captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right.

Author: Judy Blume
Read By: Halley Feiffer

Blubber is a good name for her, the note from Wendy says about Linda. Jill crumples it up and leaves it on the corner of her desk. But Robby grabs the note, and it makes its way around the classroom. There’s something about Linda that makes a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they can go — but nobody, least of all Jill, expects the fun to end where it does.

Melinda Sordino knows she’s an outcast. She retreats into her head. But it’s not so comfortable in her head, either; there’s something banging around in there that she doesn’t want to think about. Try as she might to avoid it, it won’t go away, until there is a painful confrontation. Once that happens, she can’t be silent — she must Speak.

Author: John Grisham
Read By: Michael Beck

In searing courtroom drama A Time to Kill, best-selling author John Grisham probes the savage depths of racial violence as he delivers a compelling tale of uncertain justice in the small southern town of Clanton, Mississippi.

See our full collection of banned books