Surprising Reason Why The Hunger Games Has Been Banned in the US
Good thing you can still watch the movies (but they're rated PG-13).
The practice of banning books is alive and well in the US, and the number of banned or challenged books (that is, removed from public access in libraries and so on) grows yearly, according to the data by the American Library Association.
The most common reasons for banning are explicit sexual content, offensive language, and unsuitability for an age group.
Sometimes, however, the targets seem to be picked on the basis of their popularity. For instance, The Hunger Games novels are #12 on the ALA's list of most banned books for 2010–2019, and the list of reasons for all these bans and challenges reads as follows — 'insensitivity, offensive language, violence, anti-family, anti-ethic, occult/satanic, inserted religious views.'
And this list is, frankly, very strange. For sure, The Hunger Games series can be indicted for 'violence,' as the plot is centered around teenagers forced into no-holds-barred battle royale, and a number of brutal deaths are inevitable. But the books do not indulge in that violence, depicting it as terrible and inappropriate at all times, and the whole experience is deeply traumatizing for the series' main character, Katniss Everdeen.
'Anti-family'? That is another accusation that seems completely ungrounded. The Hunger Games is about as pro-family as a story can be, given that it's not explicitly written for that message. Katniss volunteers to join the Games to protect her little sister, and she ends up married with two children.
It's also weird how The Hunger Games story can be considered 'occult' or 'satanic' — unless not mentioning any religion qualifies the book as such.
But the most surprising reason for the ban is that the novels are believed to be 'anti-ethic.' Certainly, there are bad guys doing horrible things in it. The main characters go along with the villains' demands while they see no conceivable way to resist but fight back as soon as they get a chance. Should every dystopian story, where people are forced into obedience, be considered 'anti-ethic'?
In short, The Hunger Games is not really an offensive series by any measure. There are tons of fictional worlds that are much more brutal, explicitly unethical, and feature downright villainous protagonists. The most likely explanation for banning the hit dystopian series is its popularity and perhaps the fact that it is specifically marketed at young adults, meaning that pre-teen children are likely to get their hands on it too.