10 books like Ban This Book

By Alan Gratz,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Ban This Book. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Bat-Poet

By Randall Jarrell, Maurice Sendak (illustrator),

Book cover of The Bat-Poet

I love this book because A) the illustrations by Maurice Sendak are beautiful, and B) It's a story about a bat who stays up during the day, when the other bats are sleeping, and writes poems about what he sees. It's a book for anyone who has ever felt misunderstood, or didn't fit in, and created art out of that experience. I think all writers feel this way, and probably most people at some point no matter what they do or create in the world. It's also a book about friendship, with a bat, a chipmunk, and a mockingbird, and all of the characters are so vivid and distinct. There are also some actual poems, written by the bat, of course, and as you're reading and looking at the incredible line drawings by Maurice Sendak you can see the world the way the smaller animals around us experience the world…

The Bat-Poet

By Randall Jarrell, Maurice Sendak (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bat-Poet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A combination of prose and verse for children, complemented by illustrations.


The Capybaras

By Alfredo Soderguit,

Book cover of The Capybaras

With very few words, this story shows the importance of helping others. Life in the chicken coop is safe and predictable. Until one day the capybaras show up. They are large and noisy and the chickens were not expecting them and don’t really want to share their coop with them. But it’s hunting season and so the chickens allow them to stay. The adults stay away from each other but two little ones make friends and one even saves the other one’s life. Suddenly having strangers live among them, is good rather than bad. A beautiful tale with many undercurrents…

The Capybaras

By Alfredo Soderguit,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Capybaras as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Named a Best Book of the Year by Kirkus and the New York Public Library

"Purely exquisite."-Kirkus (Starred)

For kids ages 4-8, a charming and hilarious tale about capybaras: the beloved animal sensation capturing children's hearts!

Hens and their chicks love their warm, snug home. Life is simple and comfortable in the chicken coop, where everyone knows their place and worries are far away.

Until one day, when the capybaras appear.

To the hens, the capybaras are too big, too wet, and too hairy. They don't even follow the rules! But it's hunting season, and the capybaras need somewhere safe…


The Library of Ever

By Zeno Alexander,

Book cover of The Library of Ever

This is a fun read about a girl who ends up at a very special library. It’s fantasy yet realistic... a bit Harry Potter-esk in its magic as well as an exciting page-turner about evil forces trying to close libraries and block the path to learning. But the best part is the questions that the librarians get asked are real questions. You think you know the answer but you soon learn how important it is to do research and double-check. As I was reading, I googled and discovered the problems are real ones with unexpected answers. I learned so much! And if you like the first book, there’s a second book too!

The Library of Ever

By Zeno Alexander,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Library of Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored - until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Maze like and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe's wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian.

She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its…


When My Name Was Keoko

By Linda Sue Park,

Book cover of When My Name Was Keoko

I grew up in Europe and have heard and read much about World War II in Europe. But I did not realize how similar this was to life in (South) Korea under Japanese occupation. This book was an eye-opener for me, told in two voices – Keoko and her brother who are both given Japanese names and can no longer speak their own language. A gripping novel that makes a good read, even for adults.

When My Name Was Keoko

By Linda Sue Park,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked When My Name Was Keoko as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee…


Seal of Approval

By Amy Kiste Nyberg,

Book cover of Seal of Approval: The History of the Comics Code

Amy’s book takes on the same topic, but from the perspective of an academic—and with a more balanced, objective approach. In particular, she examines the role of anti-comics crusader Dr. Fredric Wertham, arguing that his “role in the crusade against comics has been largely misinterpreted by fans and scholars alike, who dismiss his findings as naïve social science, failing to understand how his work on comic books fits into the larger context of his beliefs about violence, psychiatry, and social reform." 

Seal of Approval

By Amy Kiste Nyberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seal of Approval as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the past forty years the content of comic books has been governed by an industry self-regulatory code adopted by publishers in 1954 in response to public and governmental pressure.

This book examines why comic books were the subject of controversy, beginning with objections that surfaced shortly after the introduction of modern comic books in the mid-1930s, when parents and teachers accused comic books of contaminating children's culture and luring children away from more appropriate reading material.

It traces how, in the years following World War II, the criticism of comic books shifted to their content, and the reading of…


The Constitution of Knowledge

By Jonathan Rauch,

Book cover of The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth

If humans are the rational animal, why does the world seem to be losing its mind? Why the fake news, the conspiracy theories, the post-truth rhetoric? Rauch explains that truth is a precious commodity, which none of us is smart enough to discover on our own. We depend on institutions and norms – like science, with empirical testing, and journalism, with editing and fact-checking, and democracy, with checks and balances, and academia, with peer review and freedom of inquiry – to make us collectively smarter than any of us is individually. This infrastructure of truth is constantly being corroded – today, by social media and authoritarian populism – and must be cherished and fortified.

The Constitution of Knowledge

By Jonathan Rauch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Constitution of Knowledge as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arming Americans to defend the truth from today's war on facts.

Disinformation. Trolling. Conspiracies. Social media pile-ons. Campus intolerance. On the surface, these recent additions to our daily vocabulary appear to have little in common. But together, they are driving an epistemic crisis: a multi-front challenge to America's ability to distinguish fact from fiction and elevate truth above falsehood.

In 2016 Russian trolls and bots nearly drowned the truth in a flood of fake news and conspiracy theories, and Donald Trump and his troll armies continued to do the same. Social media companies struggled to keep up with a flood…


The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde,

Book cover of The Eyre Affair

People are so desperate to buy cheap Byronic verses they’ll risk being duped over missing out. Baconians walk from door to door, pamphlets in hand, inquiring whether you’ve ever wondered who really wrote the “Shakespeare” plays. The vile Acheron Hades uses time travel to ruin the ending of Jane Eyre for everyone and threatens to steal Jane from the book entirely! Can SpecOps’ a-bit-too-infamous detective, Thursday Next, stop this madness? More importantly, has anybody ever seen this “Jasper Fforde” and Sir Terry’s books in a trenchcoat in the same room? I didn’t think so.

There should be more books about books, and there are, because Thursday Next is a series. I’m proud to say I found out about it when a reader compared my book to Jasper Fforde’s work!

The Eyre Affair

By Jasper Fforde,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked The Eyre Affair as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet Thursday Next, literary detective without equal, fear or boyfriend

Jasper Fforde's beloved New York Times bestselling novel introduces literary detective Thursday Next and her alternate reality of literature-obsessed England-from the author of The Constant Rabbit

Fans of Douglas Adams and P. G. Wodehouse will love visiting Jasper Fforde's Great Britain, circa 1985, when time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously: it's a bibliophile's dream. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem and forging Byronic…


Free Speech

By Jacob Mchangama,

Book cover of Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media

Jacob is the founder and executive director of Justitia, a Danish think-tank. He had the brilliant idea of organising and presenting a lengthy and probing podcast series, Clear and Present Danger: A History of Free Speech, and that is the basis of this book—written by himself but adopting and adapting the originally oral contributions of his many online guests. Of whom I was one of the first, since he chose to begin at the beginning with ‘Ancient (that is, Greek) Beginnings’. Rather than free speech being a danger to democracy, it has unique, universal, and enduring importance, as a liberating and equalising principle and force throughout history and around the world. But it also has costs. Was Socrates justly condemned? Jacob thinks not, but I tend to take the side of the majority of his judges.

Free Speech

By Jacob Mchangama,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Free Speech as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A global history of free speech, from the ancient world to today.

Hailed as the "first freedom," free speech is the bedrock of democracy. But it is a challenging principle, subject to erosion in times of upheaval. Today, in democracies and authoritarian states around the world, it is on the retreat.
In Free Speech, Jacob Mchangama traces the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of this idea. Through captivating stories of free speech's many defenders - from the ancient Athenian orator Demosthenes and the ninth-century freethinker al-Razi, to Mary Wollstonecraft, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and modern-day digital activists - Mchangama…


Mi6

By Stephen Dorril,

Book cover of Mi6

Unlike the official history of the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), better known as MI6, by Keith Jeffery, this book is written without the censorship of the Service presenting the facts as the author, a journalist and academic, considers fit and proper to show. Very well written and covering a considerable period of time with many secret operations, it is a very good book which The Guardian described as ‘A remarkable achievement and an encyclopaedic post-war history which any student of the secret world should read.’

Mi6

By Stephen Dorril,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mi6 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first comprehensive history of the UK government overseas intelligence service, MI6, by an acknowledged expert and author of the highly acclaimed Smear!

Epitomised in the public imagination by James Bond, MI6's svelte and glamorous image has been peeled away by Dorril's searching investigations to reveal a less savoury truth. Here is the story of MI6's recruitment operation after WW2 of former Nazis; anticommunist guerrilla campaigns in the Ukraine and the Baltic States; Operation Stalin which led to mass arrests and executions ordered by Stalin; the European terrorist network 'Gladio'; tunnels built in Vienna and Berlin known as operation 'Gold…


Warlight

By Michael Ondaatje,

Book cover of Warlight

Since my own novel is set partly in post-war England, I was drawn to Ondaatje’s Warlight, which begins in 1945 London as the city is recovering from brutal bombing. Another hook for me was the youthful characters; my book is also populated with war-confused children. Ondaatje’s narrator, 14-year-old Nathaniel, recalls his youth with the benefit of adult wisdom. He and his sister Rachel are abandoned by their parents to the care of some eccentric and slightly dangerous characters. Their teen years are marked by many mysterious events and experiences, only beginning to clarify in retrospect. Do we ever know what’s really happening?

Warlight

By Michael Ondaatje,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Warlight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018**

An elegiac novel set in post-WW2 London about memory, family secrets and lies, from the internationally acclaimed author of The English Patient

It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they get to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women all who seem determined to protect Rachel and Nathaniel.…


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