Emily Recommends

Emily Recommends | Banned Books

Emily Recommends

Everybody loves book recommendations and here at The Little Book Affair I like to give them. In honor of Banned Books Week I thought I would recommend my top 5 banned books.


1. Crank by Ellen Hopkins

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In Crank, Ellen Hopkins chronicles the turbulent and often disturbing relationship between Kristina, a character based on her own daughter, and the “monster,” the highly addictive drug crystal meth, or “crank.” Kristina is introduced to the drug while visiting her largely absent and ne’er-do-well father. While under the influence of the monster, Kristina discovers her sexy alter-ego, Bree: “there is no perfect daughter, / no gifted high school junior, / no Kristina Georgia Snow. / There is only Bree.” Bree will do all the things good girl Kristina won’t, including attracting the attention of dangerous boys who can provide her with a steady flow of crank.

Why It Was Banned: drugs, offensive language, sexually explicit 

Why I Recommend It: Crank is an emotional novel about a girl who develops an addiction to crystal meth. It’s loosely based on Ellen Hopkin’s daughter who had a stint with meth.


2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

Why It Was Banned: sexually explicit

Why I Recommend It: Speak is about a 15 year old girl that was raped at a summer party. It’s an incredibly touching book about a young girl that learns to not just be a victim of sexual assault.


3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Charlie is a freshman.

And while he’s not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it.

Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mix tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But he can’t stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

Why It Was Banned: drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group. Additional reasons: “date rape and masturbation”

Why I Recommend It: Perks is a coming of age story about self discovery that I think all young adults, especially freshmen, should read.


4. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

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Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He’s been practicing all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys’ side and outruns everyone.

That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits.

Why It Was Banned: occult/Satanism, offensive language

Why I Recommend It: To be honest, I never read this book, but I did see the movie. This book was meant for children, I highly doubt it’s got satanism in it.


5. Looking for Alaska by John Green

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Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Why It Was Banned: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group

Why I Recommend It: Looking for Alaska is a real representation of teenagers and the fact that it was banned actually makes me laugh.


Have you read any of these banned books? Do you have any banned book recommendations? Let me know ❤

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