In anticipation of Banned Books Week starting September 21, Adi Alsaid, debut author of Let's Get Lost, shares his favorite books or series that have been banned or challenged.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut My favorite author when I was in high school, and one of my favorite books. He summed it up nicely in his well-circulated “I am very real” letter to the school board that sent his books to the furnace for obscene language, so I’ll let you look that up rather than try a poor summarization. Suffice it to say, Vonnegut’s works helped shape my positive, hopeful view of the world, and no matter how many times he swears he deserves your attention.
Goosebumps (Series) by R. L Stine This is the series that hooked me as an elementary school kid, and though I like to think I love books so much that I would have eventually become a voracious reader anyway, I bet there are many others who could credit their love of reading to these horror stories.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood Aside from the fact that it’s wonderfully written and a great story, the sexual content and violent themes in this book should scare us. As Cesar A. Cruz said, “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
The Outsiders by S. E Hinton Contemporary fiction about young adults probably had never felt more real to young adults than in this book. Yeah, there’s violence and language. But the relationships are real and the characters completely compelling, and I don’t think anyone that read the book would actually want to participate in violent acts.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K Rowling That a book this widely read and loved would be banned is pretty astounding--that’s like banning peanut butter. I fully admit to not liking peanut butter and even to never having read the full Harry Potter series (just like, I would venture to guess, those who would want to ban it), but just because it’s not my thing doesn’t mean I’m about to boycott peanut butter and ban it from the world.