The best coming-of-age novels make me laugh and cry. They bring me out of my comfort zone, and force me to actively engage with a life that is so different than my own. Sherman Alexie’s semi-autobiographical novel does all of these things, and does so beautifully. This is a book I want to see in every teen’s hands, not taken away!
Reasons for being challenged/banned: drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
Submitted by Law Library on Thu, 09/25/2014 - 2:47pm
Law Library Volunteer
When I scan through the “Banned Books” lists, they read more like lists of “Books I Have Read and Loved”, “Books I have Bought and/or Read to My Children” and “Books I Need to Get From the Library”. I wonder if the “book banners” realize what a favor they are doing for the book marketers and librarians – and that they have probably lured more than a few kids into reading who would never have done so but for the “forbidden fruit”?
I think I first read Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, in high school and since then, it has been one of my favorite books. Published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 is Bradbury’s cautionary tale of what can happen to a society that no longer values diverse viewpoints in books or accepts independent or critical thought. Though censorship was a common theme in Bradbury’s work, he was really concerned about people disconnecting from each other through technology that blocked physical relationships. That a book about book banning, censorship, and government control of information has itself been banned is, to me, the ultimate irony.
Reasons for being challenged/banned: offensive language, religion
Beloved is a thought provoking and imaginative novel by one of America's greatest writers. It's 2014, no one should be able to tell a person what they can or cannot read. Join the rebellion - and read a "banned" book.
Reasons for being challenged/banned: sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
I read The Glass Castle after reading Jeannette Walls’ book Half-Broke Horses because I was interested in learning about her childhood experiences. The Glass Castle shows the reader life is about choice and how those choices affect the people around us. Without the freedom to read students cannot learn, converse, and therefore be able to make educated choices about the life they are about to lead.
Reasons for being challenged/banned: offensive language, sexually explicit
I had to read a banned book for a high school literature class and I read The Handmaid's Tale. The Handmaid's Tale has an interesting twist on what this country could be like...a very disturbing twist. I'm not sure who originally said this but I agree this is why books should not be banned: "banning books is banning ideas...from banning ideas, oppression is an easy step."
Reasons for being challenged/banned: sexuality, suicide, drinking, drugs, smoking, profanity, attacks on Christian religion
I read The Great Gatsby for English class during junior year of high school. My favorite aspect of the book is how its themes— complicated relationships, changing economic and social circumstances, material excess, and recklessness of youth— remains relevant today even though the book was published nearly a century earlier. The freedom to read is important for everyone since books inspire, advocate, unite, entertain, and inform.
Reasons for being challenged/banned: Language, partying, alcohol