Nearly every one of the great Ellen Hopkins's novels has been banned somewhere. She writes about things that challenge kids today, sex, drugs, prostitution, terrible things for sure, but things kids are dealing with whether we like it or not. Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak, about a girl who is raped, is banned in many places. Others may surprise you such as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, The House of Night novels by P.C. Cast, The Golden Compass novels by Philip Pullman, and the Vampire Academy novels by Richelle Mead. There are so many more that it saddens me to go on. I've recently learned that my own novel, The Secret of Spruce Knoll, will not be carried in my most local bookstore because of an intense scene in it.
I understand parents reluctance to have their children read about certain subjects, and their desire to teach them about it themselves. But there are kids who don't have parents who can or will teach them and often the solace of books is the only place they can find answers to tough questions, feel a sense of connection, or understand they aren't alone, or that they have a choice. Banned books have helped me know I wasn't alone when I was a kid and I have no doubt they'll continue to help others.