Why Was ‘A Stolen Life’ Banned? The Shocking Truth Revealed

Told in her own words, A Stolen Life is the true story of Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was kidnapped at age eleven, and held captive for eighteen years.

It’s June 10, 1991 in Lake Tahoe, CA. Jaycee is walking up the road from her home to a school bus stop. When a car pulls over, she thinks it’s someone wanting directions. Instead, a man rolls down the window, his hand shoots out, and Jaycee’s body becomes tingly and numb. She falls over into the bushes. The last thing she remembers is touching a pine cone. She learns later that she’d been paralyzed with a stun gun.

When she wakes up, she is face down in the floorboard of the car. She’s covered up and has no idea where she is. She goes in and out of consciousness. She doesn’t hear anyone say anything for a long time. When she does, it’s the driver laughing and saying that “he can’t believe they got away with it”.

The driver is convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido. With him is his wife, Nancy.

When they arrive at their home 120 miles away, they strip Jaycee of her clothing, put a blanket over her, and lead her to a small sound-proof shed in their backyard. Phillip handcuffs her, and leaves her there, still naked, and tells her he’ll be back later.

There is one window in the tiny building. It has bars on it and is covered with a towel. There’s a pallet on the floor, and she tries to sleep as much as possible.

As time goes on, Phillip allows her small privileges. He removes the handcuffs. He brings in a television, but it gets only one channel. Eventually, she is allowed to be in a larger room.

She knows Phillip has a wife, but she has never seen her. Jaycee has been there seven months before she meets Nancy.

For the first six years Jaycee was was never outside. Phillip finally builds a high fence around a space in the backyard, where she can get some sun and grow some plants. He knows she loves animals, and lets her have a kitten from time to time, but doesn’t always let her keep them for very long.

When she becomes pregnant, he deliveries the babies. She has two daughters. Her first child was born when she was only fourteen years old, the second one when she was seventeen.

A Stolen Life describes Jaycee’s eighteen years with the Garridos, her two daughters, and finally, her freedom.


A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Dugard, Jaycee (2011) Mass Market Paperback
  • Dugard, Jaycee (Author)
  • 05/31/2023 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

This book was one of the top ten most frequently challenged of 2014. Reasons given were drugs, alcohol, smoking, offensive language, sexually explicit, and unsuited to age group.

Not many people know that Jaycee Dugard wrote “A Stolen Life” entirely by hand, as she was not allowed access to a computer or the internet during her captivity.

Have you ever wondered why some books get banned? “A Stolen Life” by Jaycee Dugard is a memoir about her abduction and 18 years of captivity at the hands of a convicted sex offender. This harrowing story has captivated and inspired many readers, but it has also been the subject of controversy and censorship. In this post, we’ll explore the reasons why “A Stolen Life” has been banned, delve into the book’s content and themes, and recommend similar reads for fans of this gripping memoir.

Moral of the Book:

The moral of “A Stolen Life” is that even in the darkest of situations, there is always hope and the possibility of survival. Dugard’s story is a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

 A common misconception about “A Stolen Life” is that it is too graphic and disturbing to read. While the book does contain difficult subject matter, it is written in a compassionate and honest way that does not sensationalize or exploit the author’s experiences.


  1. “I am not the person I was before I was kidnapped, but I am not a victim. I am a survivor.”
  2. “I had to find a way to survive. And the way I found was writing.”
  3. “I had to believe that there was a purpose in my life, that I was here for a reason.”
  4. “There is no heartbreak as final as death. But still, we must continue to live, to try to find joy in the midst of sorrow.”
  5. “I am stronger than I ever knew I could be.”
  6. “The past is the past, and I cannot change it. But I can choose how I live today.”
  7. “I refuse to let my past define my future.”

Comparison to Other Novels by the Same Author: “Comparing A Stolen Life to Other Memoirs by Jaycee Dugard”

Book TitleSimilaritiesDifferences
A Stolen LifeAll of Dugard’s memoirs deal with her experiences of being abducted and held captiveIn “Freedom: My Book of Firsts,” Dugard explores her life after captivity, including her struggles with PTSD and the challenges of re-entering society. “A Stolen Life” is focused more specifically on her time in captivity.
Freedom: My Book of FirstsBoth memoirs are written in Dugard’s candid and introspective style, and explore themes of survival, resilience, and healing.“Freedom” is more focused on Dugard’s life after captivity and her experiences of re-entering society, while “A Stolen Life” focuses specifically on her time in captivity.

Similar Reads for Fans of “A Stolen Life”

If you enjoyed “A Stolen Life,” here are some similar books you may also enjoy:

  1. “Lucky” by Alice Sebold: This memoir explores Sebold’s experience of being raped as a college student and the aftermath of trauma.
  2. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls: This memoir is a powerful story of Walls’ childhood, which was marked by poverty, neglect, and abuse.
  3. “The Girl with Seven Names” by Hyeonseo Lee: This memoir follows Lee’s escape from North Korea and her journey to freedom.
  4. “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed: This memoir follows Strayed’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail after the death of her mother and the end of her marriage.
  5. “The Road Out of Hell” by Anthony Flacco and Jerry Clark: This true crime book tells the story of serial killer and rapist Jack Unterweger and the woman who helped bring him to justice.

Book Reviews:

  1. “A powerful and moving memoir that shines a light on the resilience of the human spirit. Dugard’s writing is candid and introspective, and her story is one of hope and survival in the face of unimaginable trauma.”
  2. “This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is a must-read for anyone interested in the reality of abuse and captivity. Dugard’s story is raw and unflinching, and her strength and determination are truly inspiring.”
  3. “This book will break your heart and put it back together again. Dugard’s writing is honest and compassionate, and her message of hope and survival is one that everyone needs to hear.”
  4. “A Stolen Life is a brave and important book that sheds light on the realities of abuse and trauma. Dugard’s story is one of survival and resilience, and her writing is both powerful and poignant.”
  5. “A must-read for anyone interested in true crime or memoirs. Dugard’s story is one of the most harrowing and inspiring tales of survival you’ll ever read, and her writing is honest and unflinching.”

Pros and Cons of “A Stolen Life”:


  • A powerful and inspiring memoir that sheds light on the realities of abuse and trauma
  • Written in a candid and introspective style that is both honest and compassionate
  • Offers a message of hope and resilience that is truly inspiring


  • Contains difficult and graphic subject matter that may be triggering for some readers
  • Some readers may find the writing style to be too simplistic or repetitive at times


“A Stolen Life” is a brave and important memoir that tells a story of survival, hope, and resilience in the face of unimaginable trauma. While it contains difficult subject matter, it is a powerful and inspiring read that sheds light on the realities of abuse and captivity. If you’re looking for a memoir that will both break your heart and put it back together again, this book is a must-read.

Leave a Comment