16 in ’16: Read a Banned Book Feedback

by KP

Welcome back, esteemed participants. How has it been, walking on the wild side? What books were you surprised to discover were banned?


Dana: I am reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. I have never read this book before and thought I should because it’s such a classic. I am enjoying the book immensely because it is a timeless story which could be set in any place at any time. There are always groups who clash and bully other groups in most societies. This one happens to take place in small town America in the fifties or sixties. Today, schools still have social groups who bully, fight, and abuse each other to feel good about themselves and have a sense of belonging. Now however there is cyber bullying as well. Although S.E. Hinton was young when she wrote this novel, she did a good job of capturing the themes of “belonging” and “intolerance.” I am only part way through the book, so it will be interesting to me to see how things work out in the end.



KP:read Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I couldn’t have picked two more different titles! I like that each novel allowed me to experience a life unlike my own, and both made me laugh (for different reasons). Sherman Alexie’s novel made me chuckle because it uses humor at times to address very real issues of race, poverty, violence, and mental illness. It reminded me of the challenges of growing up and learning my place in the world.

With the next movie in the Fifty Shades trilogy coming out soon, I decided to see what the controversy was about. I occasionally had to put the book aside, not because of its erotic content (I enjoy erotic romance), but because the writing made me laugh and I don’t believe that was the author’s intent. I blame actor George Takei’s reading of the book. I could not get his voice out of my mind and so couldn’t take James’ book as seriously as it deserved.



Daniel: I was surprised to find a kids book about penguins on a list of banned books. It’s a book. About penguins adopting an abandoned egg. What could be so bad about it? It’s about love and acceptance, and those are universal themes that every child should learn about.






There’s still plenty of time to find your own banned book for this challenge. We have the ebook, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, available for unlimited checkout. Check out the list above or try our quiz to get a few suggestions tailored to your mood. Remember: log those books, folks, and stay tuned for our next 16 in ’16 challenge!

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