In honor of ALA’s Banned Book Week, today’s Friday Five is five of my favorite banned or challenged books. I can’t say my top five, because oh, my goodness, there are a lot of challenged books that I’ve read and enjoyed!
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury.
The ultimate bibliophile’s book, a love letter to words. I’m probably due for a reread. Fun fact: I still don’t know how to spell “Fahrenheit.”
Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson.
I read this when I was much younger, maybe in eighth grade, but it’s stuck with me. One of the wonders of literature is being able to explore important issues, and YA lit is especially necessary for giving them the language to talk about such issues, for being available when they don’t want to talk about them, and for teaching them to think critically.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee.
Another book I read for the first time in eighth grade. Can’t go wrong with this classic. And this reminds me that I still need to read Go Set a Watchman.
A Light in the Attic, Shel Silverstein.
Sometimes, you just need to read funny and whimsical kids’ poems. This will probably be one of the first books I buy my nephew. I’m going to buy him lots of books.
Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson.
I actually didn’t read this until I was twenty-three or twenty-four, but it still had an impact on me. I grew up in a rural area, so it was my sister, the neighbor boy who was my age, and me. We spent our summers running around outside having adventures, and this book, even with its sad ending, reminds me a lot of my childhood. And yes, I cried.
See the full lists on ALA’s website HERE.