Nathan Bransford, Author


Thursday, September 30, 2010

What Is Your Favorite Banned/Challenged Book?

Over the years it seems like just about every great book was challenged at one time or another for reasons ranging from the well-intentioned to the indubitably dubious. At the Banned Book Week website you can check out a map of book banning and challenges, and the ALA has a list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2009 and the decade, as well as a list of banned/challenged classics, along with some of the reasons and places.

Which one is your favorite?

The great Tahereh Mafi (who by the way I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday she's awesome) is compiling a master list of blog odes to banned books, so if you decide to blog about it don't forget to add your name to her list and check out the others!

I'd like to give a shout out to #58 on the most-challenged-books list of the decade, Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going, one of those books that, when you see it on a banned books list, it makes you say, "Wait, what?!?!" I mean, what was this challenged for, EXCESSIVE AWESOMENESS?

FAT KID opens with an overweight teenager contemplating suicide on a subway platform, but instead Troy strikes up an unlikely friendship with Curt, who is cool and edgy and wants Troy to be in his band. It's a realistic and heartfelt and engrossing book that has an incredible friendship at its core.

This one is extra special because K.L. used to be a colleague of mine at Curtis Brown, and when I read it I was just blown away that I knew someone that insanely talented.

Please check it out if you haven't read it already!

And in the meantime, looking forward to hearing which is your favorite banned/challenged book in the comments section.






94 comments:

Surly Jason said...

I want to answer in the contrary: I think the bible should be banned/challenged. (Not that I ever thing books should be banned.)

Here's a Mark Twain story: http://freethinker.co.uk/2010/08/02/mark-twain-versus-the-bible/

Andrea said...

First, 'Twilight' is sexually explicit? There is zero sex in that book?! Weird.

My favorite? 'The Catcher in the Rye' of course.

mshatch said...

I'll pick two: one LOTR, because I can't understand what on earth there is to ban. What could possibly be offensive about hobbits and elves trying to throw back a soul controlling ring into the fire that made it? And the Awakening because I can understand why it might have been banned in light of when it was written.

cheekychook said...

I've read about 70% of the books on the 100 most commonly banned list. My favorites are Catcher in the Rye, The World According to Garp and Sophie's Choice---all of which I read as a kid---and (I might add) I turned out just fine.

Steph Sinkhorn said...

Yay for Banned Books Week :D I'm excited to read about everyone's favorite banned books.

I hadn't heard of this one! I'll have to add it to my to-read list.

I posted a vlog about the His Dark Materials series, which are a few of my favorite banned books. An absolutely stunning fantasy series, but OH NO "religious viewpoint."

Cristina Fugaru said...

"The Ages of Lulu" by Almudena Grandes (which I really liked) and I can understand why some people might find the explicit sexual language offensive. Actually I'm surprised it's not on the list.

arlenewritesromance said...

There are so many great books on that banned list — and so many I read in school ... A Brave New World, 1984, A Separate Peace, Gone with the Wind, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill A Mockingbird ...

I can't imagine what life would be like if I hadn't had the chance to read them.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

Agreed on your choice of Fat Kid. Awesome book.

I posted on my favorite, Slaughterhouse Five

JaredNGarrett said...

Favorite banned/challenged books:
1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Not enough can be said about this book and its influence on me as a young boy, young man and a writer. I learned about friendship, love, courage... And I loved the story.

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I doubt you need explanations. Is there any other set of books that has influenced more people to become writers than this set?

Not likely.

Emily said...

Wow there are so many great books on that list, how could anyone choose? TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was the first book I read as a kid that really made me THINK. What a great book, and how sad that there may be kids in this country who will never be exposed to it.

Matthew Rush said...

For me it probably has to be Fahrenheit 451. I mean a banned/challenged book about burning books? Oh the irony.

Yes, the story is damn cool too, but that's not the point, or at least it's not my point.

Melanie said...

To Kill and Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye.

daniellelapaglia said...

The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird are two of my favorite books of all time. I was suprised by some that were on the list and find it incredibly sad that there is still book banning going on in 2010. As a parent, it's up to me to decide what my child reads, period.

Mike said...

The Harry Potter series, without a doubt. I also enjoyed "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". Depressing as hell, but a great work.

Amanda said...

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian. It absolutely changed my life, and there's no way it should be banned. I think more people need to realize how people are living on the reservations.

Delia said...

I could maybe do a top ten, but picking only one is nigh on impossible. I think it would be one of the biggest honors on Earth to have one's work appear on any list with those authors.

Also, Winnie the Pooh? Really?

Laurie Boris said...

My favorite banned book is also my favorite book: 'Lolita.' Nabokov does a brilliant job of developing empathy for Humbert. Second favorite goes to 'The World According to Garp.' What kind of world with this be without brilliant literature?

JaredNGarrett said...

Must add a note. I just saw the freaking Bridge to Terabithia is high on the list for the decade.

What on EARTH would make a person want to challenge that book?

That's my #1. Hands down, every day of the week, twice on Saturday.

heather said...

i posted today about the "captain underpants" series, which holds a special place in my heart because it got so many of my students loving books but got me so much crap from parents.

earthgirl said...

Undoubtedly Catcher in the Rye. I have a copy I acquired from a private conservative university library that has the following note taped to the inside cover: "This book has been purchased for examination by students . . . its moral values do not necessarily meet the Christian standards of [xxx] University or the approval of the library staff."

Tracy Hahn-Burkett said...

It's so hard to pick a favorite out of the universe of banned books, but certainly To Kill A Mockingbird and Beloved are very high on my list.

I blogged about Speak in honor of Banned Books Week this week: http://unchartedparent.com/?p=1784. I guess I should thank the book-banners, because I wouldn't have known about the book otherwise.

Maybe those of us who condemn book-banning are taking the wrong approach. It does seem to be the best way to get the word out about a book... (Kidding, everybody. Just kidding. I think.)

Sarah Nicolas said...

My favorite is The Giver, but TH's blog was so perfect, I linked to hers and blogged about Fahrenheit 451 http://bit.ly/94dtpl :-)

Lu Ann Brobst Staheli said...

Harry Potter. #1 most challenged in 2008. My family loves this book. I've read the series twice and my husband loves listening to the audio book on his regular commutes from Utah to LA. He's probably listened to them all a dozen times. I also regularly recommend this series to my junior high students and a couple of classes will be reading it this year in our school.

Khanada said...

My favorite is The Giver, too, followed by the Harry Potter and His Dark Materials series.

The map of banned and challenged books is very disturbing. When I read about books being challenged, I just can't imagine it happening where I am -- and yet, there are loads of challenges along the East Coast.

Lucinda Gunnin said...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is one of my favorite books of all time and the people in 2008 who want to ban it because it used the n word are truly missing the point. I'm terrified by how many excellent works with much needed social commentary are included in the list.

People need to read more...and understand what they read.

Claire Dawn said...

I wrote on the Color Purple because I read that this week. But To Kill a Mockingbird is also up there. Along with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Anonymous said...

@Surly Jason--That's the whole problem with people who want to ban books. It's too easy to condemn those who've done it or are doing it until you come across a book you don't agree with.

Hypocritical, too.

m. christine weber said...

The Great Gatsby and Lord of the Rings??? Good gracious. You know, it always surprises me what people are willing to ban in a book, but not on their television.

And on a side note, here are my thoughts about the writers' conference you spoke at in SLO ;-): http://mchristineweber.com/nine-only-slightly-creepy-reasons-to-attend-a-writers%e2%80%99-conference/

Steve Masover said...

Favorite? That's too hard. I blogged today about Joyce's Ulysses, banned in the 20s & 30s and the subject of a critically important U.S. Supreme Court case about censorship. Rather than "favorite" I was riffing off a question Nathan posed this past spring: What Is the Most Influential Book of All Time? (My answer was Homer's Odyssey. More if you like at One Finger Typing).

Mira said...

Haven't read that book, Nathan. Looks great, I'll check it out. :)

Well, I scanned the lists and I have to say there are two books on there that are dangerous and subversive.

I absolutely agree that these two banned books threaten the very core of our democracy:

The Wizard of Oz
Winnie-The-Pooh

I just hope to goodness they never make MOVIES out of these books. Can you imagine? These books are so terrifying I don't know if our civiliation could survive the threat.

I would have included Charlotte's Web, but I figured that one goes without saying.

Melissa said...

Though the entire list of banned books is comprised of awesome literature, I think the Harry Potter books would be pretty high on my list of favorites for this reason.

I am one of those people who were profoundly affected by the Harry Potter books, simply because I live in a small town and they were being contested heavily. They were never removed from the library, but a lot of parents were up in arms about it, saying that she was a Wiccan and that her books were teaching kids to believe in magic as a real thing.

That was the first time I remember standing up for a book. It’s sad that almost all of the people banning her books hadn’t even read them and didn’t know what a great story it was. I think that’s the way it goes with a lot of banned or contested books, though. People just completely miss the point.

Regan Leigh said...

To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. For sure. :)

Emily White said...

I definitely love LOTR! And the whole reason for why the book was challenged seems ludicrous to me. Satanism? Really? Wow. It's too bad the people against it never actually read the books or tried to find anything out about Tolkien.

Mira said...

On the other hand, can we ADD books to the list?

I'd like to ban the Dictionary. My life would be so much nicer if spelling became more of an 'in the ballpark' sort of thing.

I'd also like to ban all recipes that use califlower. I don't like califlower.

Finally, I want to ban anything written by either the IRS or the DMV. And I'll throw in anything written by an HMO for good measure.

Oh, and as a grad student, I want to ban all textbooks.

Thank you.

Rebecca White said...

So many of the books on the list are ones that really got me interested in reading and striving to try harder in my own writing. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but the top three would be To Kill a Mockingbird, LOTR and Bridge to Terabithia.

It is really sad to see how close minded some people can be.

Down the well said...

The Grapes Of Wrath and To Kill A Mockingbird are two of my all-time favorites.

Stephanie Garber said...

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston. When I read that book in high school it was hard for me to believe it was required reading because I loved that book so much! It was such a tragically beautiful story.

Deb said...

I am from the great state of Utah where, according to the map, there are no banned books. Hurrah!

While many of the books would classify as my favorites, I would have to site "Their Eyes Were Watching God." That book changed me. It was the first book I ever cried in, the first time I realized how powerful words can be.

clp3333 said...

Lord of the Flies.

Sommer said...

Right now I'm loving all things Laurie Halse Anderson. For Banned Book Week I read Speak and Twisted and they were pretty wonderful.

Bugger said...

I don't know if I would call it my all time favorite but I discovered a copy of "Forever" by Judy Blume under my best friend's sister's bed as a young girl and it made me look at books in a whole new way! Banning makes the heart grow fonder.

M.A.Leslie said...

I will always love and respect the Harry Potter series but Bridge To Terabithia was the first book that I read as a kid that evoked emotion. I can admit and remember sitting in my room on the bed and reading the book for school, something that I hated to do, and actually tearing up at the end of the story. It was the turning point in my literary future that turned me into a reader and now hopefully someday a published writer.
Aside from not wanting your kid to feel human emotion, I can't think of a reason to not let a kid read it.
Thank you for this post Nathan it gave me a chance to remember a moment in my life that I had forgotten and it was a fairly important moment too.

Maureen said...

I have read so many books on the list that it's hard to pick a favorite but I definitely have a soft spot for all the Children's and YA titles. From early on -- 4th/5th grade, I talked to my kids about banned books and why books should never be banned. They read many of those "edgy" and not so "edgy" banned books throughout middle school and high school. I tended to worry way more about the real-life issues they faced and not the fictional ones.

abc said...

Hey! I ran a teen book group (quasi bibliotherapy group) this past summer and we read Fat Kid Rules the World. I'm always happy to challenge the scary book banning types of the world. And the teens sure liked it!

My fave: The Catcher in the Rye. I can't help it. I just can't.

Carol Riggs said...

Lord of the Flies and Harry Potter, 2 of my faves.

Sheila Cull said...

Catcher in the Rye by Salinger, challenged? Laugh out loud.

J. T. Shea said...

Though mainly finishing a Steampunk series, I am also writing a standalone novel, whose main villain is both young, (21) and very very fat. I put it aside for years out of concerns about political correctness, but resumed writing it recently. The story simply does not work without the character's fatness.

The tone is comic at times (like everything I write!) but it's not actually a comedy. I anticipate controversy, but I think there is something patronizing about treating any minority as so fragile and 'precious' that they cannot be portrayed at all, much less portrayed in all the variations of good and evil human beings display.

Mira, I agree WINNIE THE POOH and THE WIZARD OF OZ should be banned. Look at the way the world has gone since they were published. Is there any other explanation for World War One and World War Two, for example? The young Adolf Hitler read both as a child and often referenced them for military strategies. The 1939 WIZARD OF OZ movie was banned in southern states because it had TWO DIFFERENT COLORS IN THE SAME MOVIE!

ed miracle said...

If being burned right here in the U.S. of A counts, my vote goes to John Lennon's book of poems, In His Own Write. The book and many Beatles albums were publicly burned by Amreican Christians upset over Lennon's offhand remark that the Beatles had become as popular as Jesus. (I still have my copy.)

Thaddeus Glapp said...

The Fiddler's Gun, naturally.

TKAstle said...

Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh?! Seriously? I'm just speechless.

Iliadfan said...

Wow. Someone banned Hitchhiker's Guide? Definitely one of my favorite books of all time. I saw Ender's Game on another "banned list" yesterday. Yeah, parents should be interested in what their kids are reading - but actively working to get a book banned just sounds like someone desperately needs a hobby.

I read many of the banned classics as assigned reading in school – and it was a parochial school. I’m grateful my teachers didn't think their strong religious views conflicted with their goal of preparing us for adulthood.

TKAstle said...

Okay, I've recovered enough from my shock at seeing Charlotte's Web and Winnie the Pooh on the banned/challenged list to realize I ought to have been sore specific regsrding what I was aghast about.

Since Nathan's question was which are our favorite banned books I wanted to be clear that I am not shocked that those books may be someone's favorites, but that anyone could ever find anything possibly ban-worthy about them.

You probably all figured that out - I wanted to make sure. ;)

J. T. Shea said...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB does indeed go without speaking, Mira. It's just another part of the spiders' plot to take over the world, which most women warn me is unfolding before our very eyes. Moths and Daddy-long-legs are in on it too, it seems. Anything with six or more legs. Wings optional.

Dictionaries? Definitely! Onto the pyre with them all! BTW, Microsoft World tells me 'califlower' should be spelled 'cauliflower', but it's just a (virtual) dictionary itself, so take no notice.

IRS, DMV, HMOS, anything with initials and no full-stops, out with it! (Please note 'J. T. Shea' has full stops after the 'J' and the 'T'.) Though I hear Hollywood is planning to film 'FORM 4868: APPLICATION FOR AUTOMATIC EXTENSION OF TIME TO FILE U. S. INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX RETURN' with Nicholas Cage as a time traveler who extends the time to file his 2010 tax return to 1865. I hope they don't change the catchy title.

T. Anne said...

Three of those books were required reading when I was in high school, go figure.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Nathan, Fat Kid is often banned due to its language. Apparently teens don't swear.

It was an absolutely brilliant book, one that's close to my heart. I've written numerous times on how those who object to the language are seeing a forest for the trees.

Amanda said...

It frustrates me to no end that I can't use Harry Potter in the classroom.

A children's book that gets young children to read and read a LOT, yet I can't even read it out loud to them. I can have it in my room, but that's about it. Half the people that are so against it haven't even read it.

I could go on and on and on, but I'll just get all fiery. :-P It makes me want to go ninja choppin'.

androidblues said...

My favorite has to The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Definitely should be banned for kids younger than 14, but awesome read none the less.

Tim Riley said...

I love Catcher in the Rye, but I have to go with To Kill a Mockingbird. Loved it so much, named my first daughter Scout.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorite books ever. Eloquently written dystopian novel that smacks down totalitarianism.
I've written posts about that, as well as Feed, Julie of the Wolves, Looking for Alaska, Thirteen Reasons Why and more. Each of these books is so important, we can't let someone muzzle them.

Sara said...

#26 "Gone with the Wind," and #50 "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin??!! What?! How could these amazing works ever be banned?

I am appalled to think of them being banned as they are so beautifully written and very influential and dear to me.

On a related note, I remember my mother telling me the Catholic church banned parishioners from seeing "Gone with the Wind" in its movie form as late as the 50s-60s - although I think it came out in 1939. Of course, she said it only made her want to sneak out and see it more :)

Laura Jane Thompson said...

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is my favorite all-time book. I don't think I'd be the same person if I'd never met Scout and Atticus.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is also high up there.

Much as I hate the idea of banned books, it sure is nice to see so many people discussing literature with such enthusiasm.

TonyB said...

Nathan it seems that the blogosphere is up in arms about explicit banning of books. What about implicit banning?

I searched the online catalogs of some nearby libraries. I couldn’t find a copy of “Mein Kampf”. I shouldn’t have to note that the book had an enormous influence on the 20th century, with repercussions felt today. Yet the book is hard to find, and illegal in several countries. Somehow it doesn’t make the banned book list. I think it is a case of librarians, and others, implicitly censoring the book.

Imagine someone trying to put that one in a high school library.

Please note: I’m not advocating the positions taken in that book.

Rebecca Harwell said...

My favorite banned book is Fareheit 451. What could be more ironic?

Tura Lura said...

Julie of the Wolves, Gone With the Wind, Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Harry Potter series to name a few. So many of those on the list were required (and/or recommended) reading in high school. Many of them still are at the high school I graduated from back in 1998. That makes me happy. ^_^

In light of the recent challenging of Speak, I finally read it. Oh my. It's now on my list of favorite books. I'm working on a review of it to go up late tonight or very early tomorrow.

<3,
TL
TuraLura's Picks
Arrrr Cubed

Shelli said...

I think it's interesting. When we first hear the word "banned", we immediately cringe and think censorship and an assault on free speech. And yet, as I read through ALA's website, I realized that most of the challenges weren't to abolish the books forever for everyone, but rather concerns about some books being available at school for children whom parents feel are too young for the material.

One of the great arguments against banned books is that parents should be responsible for determining what is appropriate for their children. Yet, how can parents do that when questionable books are being offered to their children in school without the parents' knowledge?

Case in point. My 12-year old daughter came home and told me their teacher had assigned them to read "My Sister's Keeper," and they were already half way through. Huh? I had read that book (and thought it was awful), and didn't feel it was appropriate for 12 year olds. So why was this teacher making that determination instead of me?

I think ALA's Banned Book Week could use a little truth in advertising. Let us be outraged for true censorship and not for parents asserting their rights.

That said, my favorite banned book is The Giver by Lois Lowry. But I don't think I'd recommend it to my eight year old.

Ginger Rue said...

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE and THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN.

randi said...

As an English teacher, banned books are always my favorite to teach. I preface the study of each book by telling the kids "We're going to be rebels and read a book that some people think you shouldn't read." There is absolutely no better way to hook them.

Off the decade list I have taught THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (although I actually didn't know that one was banned), GRENDEL, FAHRENHEIT 451, ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN, and THE GREAT GATSBY (my favorite) without a single complaint. I did have one mother refuse to allow her son to read BRAVE NEW WORLD. She called it "smut." That child was a reluctant reader, and as soon as his mom said he wasn't allowed to read it, he "stole" a copy from me and had the whole thing finished in a couple of days. That never would have happened if she hadn't protested. I wanted to send her a thank you note.

I also had a parent challenge A CHRISTMAS CAROL, which isn't even on this list. Apparently she objected to Christmas, which I tried to explain is really no more than the setting for the book, but it didn't matter. Christmas was in the title and her kids were not reading it. Crazy.

Julie Hedlund said...

Well, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY is my all-time favorite book, BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is my favorite childhood book and life wouldn't be the same without all the Judy Blume books.

No book should ever be banned - ever!

Mira said...

J.T. - how could anyone change that title? It's perfect, lol.

Well, re. your book with the extremely fat villian, I hope it's okay if I give my opinion. I do believe that you need to write the book the way it's meant to be written. And you also have to be true to the character and his weaknesses. But I also hope you'll be careful not to reinforce sterotypes and prejudice. It's not so much tip-toeing around feelings, it's more about not adding to discrimination against a group of people.

TonyB and Shelli - I think you have some interesting points.

Graham Clements said...

The Sexuality Theory of Value by Billy Soo-Lee. It's a send up of 1984 and the second coming of Jesus Christ. Originally the author was going to call it The Pussy Theory of Value. It was not so much banned, but rejected by publishers because they thought "we can't print that" even though they sent back rejection letters saying that it was very funny. The author self-published and I was lucky enough to pick up a copy.

Dominique said...

Fat Kid Rules the World is a fantastic book. I read it five years ago, and it still has an impact on my life.

Alexandria Gilbert said...

I actually felt compelled to comment today (normally I just read the posts in my email and leave it at that) because OH MY GOODNESS. I totally read FAT KID RULES THE WORLD in middle school and I'm fairly certain no one I know has ever even heard of it. It was indeed epically awesome, and, especially to me at that age of genuinely and passionately enjoying near-constant pleasure reading, I did not want it to end. So it was one of "those books" and I loved it.

bethhull.com said...

Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging has me laughing out loud every time I read it. Of course, depressing tear-jerkers shouldn't be banned either, but a book that can bring a person so much silliness? If I were rich I'd buy a copy for every high school classroom.

Sylvia Allen Fisher said...

My fave is BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, and my apology to Ms. Paterson for the attempted murder of her book is on my blog.

Very glad to see the book mentioned by so many others.

hannah said...

(pssst: you switched Troy and Curt's names around).

Jeannie Moon said...

To Kill a Mockingbird and The Great Gatsby. If I had to choose a YA book, I'd pick Forever by Judy Blume.

cyberchick100 said...

Out of the list my favourite would have to be The Color Purple but for me the most bizarre book to have been challeneged is the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter!? A book about the eternal fight against good versus evil. I mean come on people get a life!

Rick Daley said...

I'll pick any/every Judy Blume book that was challenged. In fourth grade, my teacher read the first few chapters of TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING to the class and I was hooked. I read as many of her books as I could. THEN AGAIN, MAYBE I WON'T and ARE YOU THERE GOD, IT'S ME, MARGARET both caused a stir, but they were important reads. I learned more facts of life from those books than I did from school, church, and talks with my parents combined.

WORD VERIFICATION: rheli. A southern belle agreeing with you. "Rheli, I did."

Nathan Bransford said...

hannah-

Gah!! How embarrassing! Thank you.

jay said...

It has to be Tropic of Cancer, for me. It still leaps off the page almost 80 years later, and one of the first books to test modern censorship laws. May not be the last word in political correctness, but if you want words as potent as dynamite, Miller is your man.

Jessie Andersen said...

1984 is definitely at the top of my list.

Kathleen said...

Mine is Harry Potter. I teach in a Catholic School and a group of parents tried to have it banned. Luckily our bishop came forward extolling the virtues of the book so they backed off. However, there are still several kids I teach who are sadly not allowed to read Harry.

Anonymous said...

I was a little surprised that Huckleberry Finn didn't make the list. It has been the target of censors for over a hundred years for its casual use of the "N" word and juvenile delinquent protagonist.

And it still is censored in this century, sorta. In one of my MA literature classes a few years ago, the Professor chose not to have us read or discuss certain portions of the book. Ridiculous.

J. T. Shea said...

Excellent advice, Mira. My young villain's fatness is both a result and symbol of his monstrous excesses, one of several, aided and abetted by a psychotic psychiatrist (alliteration!) he employs as his personal assistant and manager of his vast private theme park. The story is set centuries from now, on an anarchic colony planet.

There have been a number of junior James Bond novels and movies in recent tears. Mine might be considered a sort of junior James Bond villain, complete with private kingdom, henchmen, minions, and boys' toys write large. For example, his train set consists of real steam trains on tens of miles of real tracks. My fat kid literally does rule a world, but that's all he has in common with K. L. Going's character.

Most of the Bond villains had some physical disability or peculiarity, and almost always employed a younger, fitter chief henchman to fight Bond, much as a medieval King might employ a court champion. Overall, my character has more in common with Jabba the Hutt than anyone living today, but there were, no doubt, some people offended by Jabba!

Anonymous said...

The Seventh Scrolls. I haven't read the book but I think it was the same story in the movie of Demi M. In that movie a fat down syndrome boy committed a murder. He killed his parents because it turned out they were brother and sister, for him that is a despicable MORTAL SIN.That those 2 deserved to die.A retarded who knows what is right from wrong.Wow!

Demon Hunter said...

My favorite? The Color Purple. Alice Walker is awesome. :-D There are some on the list that I still have to read, but many greats are on that list.

Anne-Marie said...

For me, Cormier's The Chocolate War, mostly because, as a teacher, I love books that challenge the idea that teachers can't be bad guys.

The Giver.

Anonymous said...

i love finding howard stern: a summer intern's story

Monsterfresser said...

I'm completely going with graphic novels here - something like Sandman or Watchmen - because it just has that extra layer of potential discussion, and is, in general, often deeper. There's the additional element of the pictures. It's amazing how many people won't see the art, but will see the 'offensiveness'.

I don't even really know how many of the books I'm passionate about are banned. If "His Dark Materials" are - I love those exactly for the controversial aspects. The characters aren't always what I'm looking for, but wow is Pullman a genius.
Alice in Wonderland was once banned, I just read, so that goes on my personal favourite-bans too.

The Huntress said...

All this talk of banned books has me reminiscing about a favourite moment with a banned book. I'm Australian, so I don't know if this was across the board, but I eleven or twelve when Judy Blume released Forever and yes, it was banned at my school. One of my friends though had snagged a copy before the ban and every lunch time a group of about six of us headed to the back of the oval and took turns reading it aloud. I loved every moment of sharing a great book with my friends.

Nikki said...

'Beloved' is by far my favorite book of all time, and though I definitely understand why many find it objectionable, I love it because of how beautifully it's written, and how powerful of a story it really is.

Fawn Neun said...

I have to say SMACK by Melvin Burgess. I had the honor and pleasure of working with him as an editor for some short stories, so I'm a bit partial.

Anonymous said...

Irish Ghost, English Accent

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOjWWH9BkLI

Anonymous said...

Deathnote

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