3 Recommended Banned / Challenged Books

  1. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison.  I’ve read this book several times over the years and I always take away something new each time that I read.  Toni Morrison’s writing can be dense, but I think this is the easiest of her novels to understand.  Part of the reason why this book is controversial is it’s portrayal of the Caucasian standard of beauty as a hazard to the mental well-being of African-Americans.  Racism is one of the major themes of this novel, including racism among African-Americans.   There are instances of rape and incest, causing some to believe that this book is not suitable for students when it is studied as part some school districts’ curriculum.  There is also coarse language.  I read this book for the first time when I was 12 and think it depends on the maturity level of the person.  My lasting impression of this book is the impact of how we treat others and the more powerful impact of how we view ourselves.bluest eye
  2. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.  Yes, frank portrayal of racism in a novel will get a book on the banned / challenged list.  This novel also includes sex, profanity and the n-word is used repetitively.  So, why read this novel?  It is not a “race novel,” but a well written social commentary of the some of the issues African-Americans faced in the pre-Civil rights era.invisible man
  3. Looking for Alaska by John Green.  I haven’t read this one yet, but will read it as part of my Goodreads’ 2017 reading challenge.  I know I will enjoy the writing of John Green after falling completely in love with The Fault in Our Stars.  This novel has found controversy due to profanity and sexual situations involving teenagers.  I may have spent high school with my nose buried in a book or magazine, but these topics aren’t that shocking to me after listening to what teens really talk about when they are not around adults.  looking for alaska

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