Sunday, October 3, 2010

15 Banned Books I'm Glad I read

This is no slight on other books on the banned books list. These are just the ones I've read and loved.

1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

The most powerful political book I ever read. I think evidence of its theory is everywhere in the world today where there are some people who are more equal than others.

2. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

This was my absolute favorite book when I was growing up. I still have full sections of the text memorized from having read it so often.

3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Another of my childhood favorites, and I couldn’t wait until my children were old enough that I could put it in their hands. Again, the concept of thought control was ingrained in me during my formative years.

4. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling

To me, the whole irony is that the main reason this was challenged in schools is the exact opposite of the final message of the books.

5. 1984 by George Orwell.

This book scared the bejeebers out of me when I read it as a teenager, particularly the controls of speech and thought. In some respects I think society has long surpassed this book.

6. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

A teacher handed me this book when I was a junior after she discovered I had already read every other book in her usual curriculum. I devoured its contents and remember the feeling of finally closing the last page.

7. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Brilliant story, haunting, a must read.

8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

It was one of the first “grown up” books I read, and did an amazing job of balancing tense subject matters with fabulous humor.

9. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

Lois Duncan was one of my favorite authors while growing up. I’d read anything of hers, especially if there was something in it someone found objectionable.

10. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

There’s something about this story that keeps me near it always. Sad and amazing.

11. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

This was one of my favorite books as a child and I still love it. Beautiful, beautiful story.

12. The Giver by Lois Lowry

This book helped me form a lot of the thoughts and opinions I still have today.

13. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Excellent book with excellent themes and a great message for children

14. Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

The only reason I read this book is because it was banned. My form of teenage rebellion. Got to the end and never could figure out why it had been banned.

15. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Okay, I didn’t actually love these books, but I’m very glad I read them. How about you? What are your favorite banned books?

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