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Friday, October 05, 2012
Best of the Banned
Banned Books Week, September 30th to October 6th, is the national book community's annual celebration of the freedom to read. You'll be surprised to see the 10 most challenged books of 2011 (The Hunger Games, anyone? And To Kill a Mockingbird?!). Here's a look at some of the best in the banned category.
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Set in the not-too-distant future, when religion is used as a tool of repression and social control, this is the story of a young woman, Offred, recruited for reproductive purposes at a time of plummeting birth rates. The gripping narrative switches between her memories of being a working mother and the terrifying realities of her life as a state-controlled breeding machine—a Handmaid.
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Collier
All his life, Tim Meeker has looked up to his brother Sam. Now Sam is part of the new American Revolutionary Army. He talks about defeating the British and becoming independent and free. But not everyone in town wants to be a part of this new America. Most people are loyal supporters of the English king—especially Tim and Sam’s father. How can he choose a side—when it means fighting his father on one side, and fighting his brother on the other?
Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
On the island of San Piedro, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial for murder. It is 1954, and the shadow of World War II's brutal internment of Japanese-Americans hangs over the courtroom. Ishmael Chambers, who fought in the war and now runs the island newspaper, is covering the trial that brings him close to Hatsue Miyamoto, the wife of the accused and Ishmael's first love. The island community is faced with the ambiguities of justice, racism, and the necessity of moral action.
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Cloning, feel-good drugs, anti-aging programs, and total social control through politics, programming and media—has Aldous Huxley accurately predicted our future? This compelling narrative that dawns in the year 632 A. F. (After Ford, the deity). When Lenina and Bernard visit a savage reservation, we experience how Utopia can destroy humanity.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Lovely Bones is the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven. It is a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue without her—friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, a grief-stricken family unraveling. Out of unspeakable tragedy and loss, this story builds tale filled with hope, humor, suspense, even joy.