Banned Books Week may be over, but the culture of banning and challenging books seems to be a never-ending process and becoming part of our everyday lives. But to conclude this annual celebration, I wanted to list my favorite banned books, books that I feel were unnecessarily banned/challenged, and books that need uplifting and highlighted for people who need to take a chance. It is important to not judge something without giving it a chance, and I hope after reading this list, you will head to your nearest bookstore and library and do just that:
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education and Was Shot By The Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
This book is so important to read. Malala’s words has so much insightfulness and power behind them. However, for some reason instead of taking stock in what she is trying to relate, some people are threatened by them, which in turn can lead to ignorance and prejudice in the world. But in spite of the constant challenges thrown at this book, it has still prevailed.
Flamer by Mike Curato
Such a beautiful and powerful graphic novel that realistically captures the turmoil a teenager, whether they are gay or straight, trying to figure themselves out in this ever-changing world. The illustrations, also done so beautifully and very captivating, really highlights the emotion and the importance of this amazing story.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
This one is close to my heart since this was not only my first YA novel, but the first novel I ever encountered that dealt with realistic themes. It is one of the few books that I constantly look back to and compare to other YA novels that I read. It is hard to imagine why this is book is constantly banned/challenged but the themes that this book has needs to be read, especially since it’s publication, events like this described here is always happening in the real world.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid’s Tale is the first book I ever read by Atwood. It was always on my TBR list and with the recent hype surrounding it, I decided to pick it up and start reading it. Never has there been a novel that was a politically correct story and provided an emotional impact, at the same time. You read this and you will grapple with the many issues that the novel sprouts out. The Handmaid’s Tale opens doors to what most people are afraid to look inside.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
This is another YA novel that I read that I considered to be one of the realist books. But this one came to my life later on instead of my teen years. I found this to be so powerful and insightful that many books have tried to mimic the formula, however, only few have accomplished. But as always, it is better to read the original.
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Anne Frank’s “The Diary of a Young Girl” is among the most enduring documents of the twentieth century. Since its publication in 1947, it has been read by tens of millions of people all over the world. It remains a beloved and deeply admired testament to the indestructible nature of the human spirit. Restored in this “Definitive Edition” are diary entries that were omitted from the original edition. These passages, which constitute 30 percent more material, reinforce the fact that Anne was first and foremost a teenage girl, not a remote and flawless symbol. She fretted about and tried to cope with her own sexuality. Like many young girls, she often found herself in disagreements with her mother. And like any teenager, she veered between the carefree nature of a child and the full-fledged sorrow of an adult. Anne emerges more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever. (Credit: Bantam)
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