High 5 Banned Science Fiction Books!

As we close our celebration of National Library Week here at Exquisitely Geek, we thought a great way to celebrate both the end of NLW14 and the coming of the weekend was to give you our High 5 banned science fiction books!  So, use your weekend wisely! Go to your local library and pick up one of these great banned books! Don't worry, we'll try to save you from Spoilers!

1) The Giver: Lois Lowry

The Giver was my first introduction to both utopian and dystopian fiction. The story follows Jonas as he is selected to be the receiver of memories in a culture that has removed pain and strife.  As can be expected, the reader discovers and questions what it must be like to suddenly discover the power of knowledge.  The Giver is a staple of many, many middle and high school curriculums, it was also the 11th most frequently challenged book of the 1990s, in school districts in South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Colorado.

2) Stranger in a Strange Land: Robert H. Heinlein

I am a bit obsessed with this book right now. This is a 1961 science fiction novel that explores the concept of alien, religion, and love.  Future Earth has sent a team to Mars to study the planet for potential colonization.  Two of the team members give birth to a child, Michael, while on Mars.  When the team suddenly disappears, Michael is raised by Martians.  A future Earth law makes Michael the owner of Mars, and he is brought back to a world that his parents knew but that is foreign to him. Stranger in a Strange Land is a pro-religion, anti-theist book about free love and the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and was controversial even when it was published in 1962.  So naturally it was challenged as part of the curriculum of a summer "Science Academy" course in Texas. If you read this book, let me know! I'd love to have a discourse with someone about it!!

3) A Wrinkle in Time: Madeline L'Engle
A target that seems to be ripe for the ban hammer is any book that stands firmly on the line between children's and adult fiction.  This is one of those books and actually starts a four part series that discusses the vastness of the universe, the nature of evil, and the dangers of blind belief (it even has it's own version of the Noah story from the Bible).   With characters known as "witches," it was the 22nd most frequently challenged book of the 90's.

4) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: J. K. Rowling

You can't really discuss banned science fiction books without mentioning the book we all grew up with - Harry Potter.  Parents and concerned citizens tried to ban the book on the basis that it "promote[s] the Wicca religion."  Some religious based schools, such as St. Joseph's School in Wakefield, Mass., were successful in their attempt to ban Harry, Ron, and Hermione from the shelves, but public schools tended to keep the book available as it "spark[ed] creativity and imagination [in students]."

5) Interview with the Vampire: Anne Rice

Even though I grew up in Louisiana, I did not begin reading this series until this past year.  Let me tell you that Anne Rice will suck you in quickly. No vampire joke intended.   Her characters are deep and fully "3D," and reading the series as a whole, versus reading one book as a stand alone story, gives depth and motivation to these characters as I have never seen in vampire stories.  What's great is that this story, and others in the series, can stand alone, but I would recommend starting with the Interview and then committing to the entire series!

See how many banned books you've read!  After you've seen your score, head to your library and pick up a banned science fiction book you may not have read!  Until next time, keep calm and read on!

-Seven of Nine-

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