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Banned and Challenged Books

Banned and Challenged Books

"Books have been the targets of bans in America for more than a century. . . . books employ difficult, sometimes upsetting imagery to tell complicated stories. That approach has made them some of the most frequently challenged, or outright banned, books in America’s schools; it also makes them perfect examples of what literature is supposed to do. Please consider buying them for the students in your life, and for yourselves." —Emma Sarappo for The Atlantic

Playlist Tags: topic: banned books

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All Boys Aren't Blue

A Memoir-Manifesto

By George M. Johnson
Narrated by: George M. Johnson
Length: 5 hours 11 minutes

This program is read by the author.

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first...

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Between the World and Me

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Length: 3 hours 35 minutes

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER • NAMED ONE OF TIME’S TEN BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • ONE OF OPRAH’S “BOOKS THAT HELP ME THROUGH” • NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SPECIAL EVENT
 
Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal... Read more »

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The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 11 hours 50 minutes

The Hate U Give

“This bestselling, powerful young adult novel about social justice and one teen girl's effort to fight for what is right, will leave you breathless. The narration by Bahni Turpin is hands down the best I've ever heard. This is such an important book it should be required reading for life in general. Or listening. Definitely listening.”

Tattered Cover image Kristen, Tattered Cover
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Separate is Never Equal

Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

By Duncan Tonatiuh
Narrated by: Adriana Sananes
Length: 21 minutes

Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a Whites only school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing... Read more »

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The Testaments

The Sequel to The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood
Narrated by: Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard, Mae Whitman, Derek Jacobi, Tantoo Cardinal & Margaret Atwood
Length: 13 hours 17 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE The Testaments is a modern masterpiece, a powerful novel that can be read on its own or as a companion to Margaret Atwood’s classic, The Handmaid’s Tale.

More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on... Read more »

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In the Dream House

A Memoir

By Carmen Maria Machado
Narrated by: Carmen Maria Machado
Length: 5 hours 28 minutes

In the Dream House

“Welcome to the Dream House in this daring new kind of memoir that defies boundaries and boldly discards the conventions of genre. Inside, Carmen Maria Machado bares her soul in all of its pain and beauty, offering an intimate and profoundly vulnerable look at her own life, love, and sexuality. Machado has a gift for exposing the raw nerves and small miracles lurking beneath the surface of our daily lives. Her words move with a strange kind of urgency, surreal and yet true, like late-night phone calls when the rest of the world is asleep. I didn’t feel like I was reading a book so much as observing a person’s innermost thoughts. In the Dream House is a unique and extraordinary book.”

Changing Hands image Jason Foose, Changing Hands
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All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
Narrated by: Guy Lockard & Keith Nobbs
Length: 6 hours 35 minutes

A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book, and recipient of the Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature.

In this New York Times bestselling novel, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided... Read more »

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King and the Dragonflies

By Kacen Callender
Narrated by: Ron Butler
Length: 5 hours 3 minutes

King and the Dragonflies

“Kingston (King) James and his parents are grieving the loss of Khalid-- King's older brother. When Khalid was alive and the two shared a bedroom, he would talk in his sleep, telling his younger brother stories about the universe and its magic. King continues to see Khalid in his dreams, and is convinced Khalid has transformed into a dragonfly. The Louisiana bayou provides the backdrop for both a colorful landscape and a tense, fearful place where racism festers. When King's former friend, Sandy, who is white, and the son of the racist police chief, goes missing, King ends up helping hide Sandy from his abusive father. Woven seamlessly into this wise story is King's slow awakening of his sexuality, brought to the fore by his renewed friendship with Sandy, who is known to be gay. Callender's writing is so authentic and their characters are so tenderly portrayed by Ron Butler's superb narration I mourned its conclusion. The whole package is a crowning achievement.”

Bear Pond Books image Jane, Bear Pond Books
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The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini
Narrated by: Khaled Hosseini
Length: 12 hours 3 minutes

A Stunning Novel of Hope and Redemption

Taking us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the present, The Kite Runner is the unforgettable and beautifully told story of the friendship between two boys growing up in Kabul. Raised in the same household and sharing the same wet nurse, Amir and Hassan grow up in different worlds: Amir... Read more »

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Heavy

An American Memoir

By Kiese Laymon
Narrated by: Kiese Laymon
Length: 6 hours 17 minutes

Heavy

“An incredibly generous, tender, and searingly honest book. Kiese Laymon is hands down one of the most talented American writers publishing right now. HEAVY overflows with deep love and deep pain. Laymon holds up a mirror to the US past, present - "We did not have to be this way. We will not ever have to be this way." I'm going back to read everything Laymon has ever written. {I listened to the audio book (highly recommend - it's read by the author).}”

A Room Of One's Own Bookstore image Alex Neff, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore
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Two Boys Kissing

By David Levithan
Narrated by: David Levithan
Length: 6 hours 14 minutes

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • STONEWALL HONOR BOOK  •  LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNER  •  NATIONAL BOOK AWARD LONGLIST

"You have to read this.” —Rainbow Rowell, bestselling author of Eleanor & Park and Carry On

From the New York Times bestselling author of Every Day, this love story of shared humanity and history Hypable calls "an...
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More Happy Than Not

By Adam Silvera
Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
Length: 8 hours 19 minutes

Happiness shouldn't be this hard. When it first gets announced, the Leteo Institute's memory-alteration procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto - miracle cure-alls don't tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. Aaron can't forget how he's grown up poor, how his friends all seem to shrug him off, and how his father committed suicide in... Read more »

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Ash

By Malinda Lo
Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
Length: 6 hours 45 minutes

Cinderella retold In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, she finds her only joy by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark... Read more »

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Gabi, A Girl in Pieces

By Isabel Quintero
Narrated by: Kyla Garcia
Length: 7 hours 57 minutes

Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014

July 24

My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with... Read more »

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Ordinary Hazards

A Memoir

By Nikki Grimes
Narrated by: Nikki Grimes
Length: 4 hours 36 minutes

In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse. Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed... Read more »

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Black Girl Unlimited

The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard

By Echo Brown
Narrated by: Echo Brown
Length: 8 hours 29 minutes

This program is read by the author

"Just brilliant."—Kirkus Reviews

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story for fans of Renee Watson's Piecing Me...

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To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee
Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
Length: 12 hours 17 minutes

Voted America's Best-Loved Novel in PBS's The Great American Read

Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred

One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold...

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The Bluest Eye

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 7 hours 5 minutes

The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so... Read more »

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SHOUT

By Laurie Halse Anderson
Narrated by: Laurie Halse Anderson
Length: 3 hours 48 minutes

SHOUT

“Fantastic listen to lovely prose written about the important subject of rape. Important for adults and young adults alike.”

HearthFire Books and Treats image Mollie, HearthFire Books and Treats
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His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass (Book 1)

His Dark Materials: Book #1

By Philip Pullman
Narrated by: Philip Pullman, Joanna Wyatt, Rupert Degas, Alison Dowling, Douglas Blackwell, Jill Shilling, Stephen Thorne, Sean Barrett, Garrick Hagon, John O'Connor, Susan Sheridan & Full Cast
Length: 11 hours 42 minutes

HIS DARK MATERIALS IS NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SERIES STARRING DAFNE KEEN, RUTH WILSON, ANDREW SCOTT, AND LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!

Featuring an exclusive bonus interview between the author, Philip Pullman, and His Dark Materials star, Ruth Wilson.

The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an “All-Time Greatest Novel” and Newsweek hailed as...
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