This is Banned Books week, where we celebrate the freedom to read on a national level. Here is my short, but focused list! They are not in any particular order. Also, be sure to leave me your top 5 favorite banned books in the comments below =)
Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
In a school I once taught, any books about magic were banned, including Harry Potter. For the longest time, those years after college when I worked at the school, I never finished reading the series, I was stuck on book 3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I discovered the books are a lot more about self confidence, service, friendship, and family than about magic. The best reading decision of my youth was to read the entire series! I will talk about the series in detail in a video on my channel this coming week.
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
We studied the Holocaust in 8th grade and read the Diary of Anne Frank – the story of a Jewish girl and her family hiding from her Nazi genocidal killers. Although it may have some details about Anne’s pubescent sexuality, modern TV shows for children are oftentimes more sexually explicit than Anne’s diary. Keep in mind the diary was supposed to be private, it was for her eyes only — she hadn’t intended to write it for hundreds and thousands of people. They are are largely unedited, raw thoughts and feelings as a young 13-year-old girl. Also, in the original publication her father had the sexually detailed parts edited out. However, I think with a teacher and the permission of a parent, I don’t see a problem with reading the full diary in certain settings.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
This tale about an adult male who has lower intelligence than normal and cannot read was truly heart warming. He spent his morning as a lab experiment and his evenings in night classes learning to read. It is truly an inspiring story.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
What happens when the world is black and white and people ban us from learning our history? A bland and unjust world. A boy in this book gets to be the keeper of these memories, and tries to bring color, and forcibly killed babies back to his world. This book is quite eye opening.
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
This is the true diary of a girl who was dealt drugs at a party against her knowledge, and soon become addicted to them. The girl writes conversationally so it’s easy to read, and you feel, at least I did, that you are living the life of a downward spirally addict with her. It’s quite heart wrenching as her life is going out of control, and she can do little about it. I think it mirrors a lot of our own addictions whether it’s TV, video games, music, food, sex, laziness, anger, violence — but it also offers a thread of hope too.
I hope that you enjoyed my list! Please keep in mind not all of these books are for every reader, however, if you are interested in reading one of these, please let me know and I’d be happy to talk to you more about it before you make the final decision to take the books into your hands and plunge your brains in it.
That’s all I have for you for now. Take care =)