We are smack-dab in the middle of Banned Books Week, a 31-year-old tradition dedicated to honoring our freedom to read whatever we want, whenever we want. The practice of banning books may seem archaic or foreign, but the truth is that the Office of Intellectual Freedom received 464 book challenges in 2012 alone. Go back through the archives, and you'll find that more than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982. Ironically, some of the most challenged books in America are also some of the most beloved. Since it's undeniably terrible that such great books are so often banned, I'm standing up to would-be censors by sharing eight of my favorites.
Brave New World | Aldous Huxley, 1932 | This prescient novel examines the loss of individuality and freedom that pervade in the highly-industrialized society of the future.
The Catcher In The Rye | J.D. Salinger, 1951 | The famous story of Holden Caulfield, loved by teenagers the world over for his representation of angst and rebellion.
The Giver | Lois Lowry, 1993 | A look at utopia through the eyes of a child, this book examines the formative power of choice in human reality and understanding.
Harry Potter series | J.K. Rowling, 1997 - 2007 | A young orphan finds out he is a wizard, is packed off to boarding school and ends up saving the magic world.
The Hunger Games series | Suzanne Collins, 2008 - 2010 | A teenage girl leads a rebellion against an oppressive government in post-apocalyptic America.
The Kite Runner | Khaled Hosseini, 2003 | This tragic bestseller follows a boy named Amir through his childhood in Afghanistan all the way to adulthood in America.
Of Mice and Men | John Steinbeck, 1937 | Set during the Great Depression, this is the sad story of two migrant workers seeking employment on California ranches.
Slaughterhouse-Five | Kurt Vonnegut, 1969 | An absurd tale about Billy Pilgrim, who becomes a German prisoner of war and can travel back and forth through his life.
What banned books do you think are worth reading?