For Banned Books Week this year, my cross to bear is reading Fifty Shades of Grey. To spare you this trial, here are some banned and challenged books that are much more palatable.
Saga was one of 2014’s most challenged books…which may be understandable. This graphic novel has enough sex, language, and violence to make Game of Thrones seem family-friendly. Written by Brian K. Vaughan, author of Y: The Last Man and Ex Machina, this series follows Alana and Marko, former members of warring armies, as they raise their daughter Hazel while adventuring across the galaxy. Get started on this sci-fi romp today!
2. The Chocolate War
Jerry Renault won’t sell the chocolates.
Rejecting the school fundraiser sounds like a mundane start to a story, but this simple rebellion will lead to a dark and horrifying battle with Trinity High School’s authorities and local gang, The Vigils. Robert Cormier’s harrowing young adult novel explores the abuse of power, mob mentality, and the consequences of daring to disturbing the universe.
3. James and the Giant Peach
You’d think Roald Dahl’s story James and the Giant Peach is a delightful children’s story about a little boy who embarks on a sea voyage on an enormous peach with a crew of oversized insects. But did you know this book has the word ‘ass’ in it? Protect the children!
Persepolis is a graphic novel memoir from Marjane Satrapi, detailing the author’s childhood growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution in the 80s. The book gives an interesting look into a culture coming under sway of religious fundamentalism. The author’s insider’s perspective gives a more balanced view of these events than one receives from various forms of propaganda.
Most of us had to read Beowulf in middle-school…but have you ever wondered what the story sounds like from the monster’s perspective? In this postmodern novel from John Gardner, we discover Grendel’s philosophical musings and homicidal rages are often intertwined. Experimental, thoughtful, and savagely witty, this book makes for an intriguing and unconventional read.
6. Where’s Waldo?
Where is Waldo? Where did he come from? Where is he going? These questions have haunted humanity since the dawn of time, and Martin Handford’s comprehensive study is still the primary authority on the subject.
Though it may be thin on narrative, searching for Waldo’s missing luggage is infinitely easier than searching for readable sentences in Fifty Shades of Grey.
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