100 books like Ban This Book

By Alan Gratz,

Here are 100 books that Ban This Book fans have personally recommended if you like Ban This Book. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Bat-Poet

Rebecca Chace Author Of June Sparrow and the Million-Dollar Penny

From my list on to reach for in the middle of the night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a writer who has mostly written books for adults, as well as plays and screenplays, and June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny is my only book for children (so far). Though I read a lot of adult literature I have never stopped reading children's books. I always keep a "comfort" book on my bedside table for the middle of the night. I think that a really well-written, timeless children's book can teach us, comfort us, and take us on a journey. No matter what age you may be, I hope that you will read these books, or revisit them even if you think you are "too old" for children's books.

Rebecca's book list on to reach for in the middle of the night

Rebecca Chace Why did Rebecca love this book?

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…

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. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

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


Book cover of The Capybaras

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From my list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Margriet Ruurs Why did Margriet love this book?

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…

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…


Book cover of The Library of Ever

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From my list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Margriet Ruurs Why did Margriet love this book?

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!

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. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

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…


Book cover of When My Name Was Keoko

Margriet Ruurs Author Of Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

From my list on childrens books that everyone should read.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been devouring books for most of my life. When I was young, I read Pippi Longstocking. I wanted to be just like her – strong, free, and independent. Through books I learned about other people in other countries, times, and circumstances. I have been writing books for a long time (I wrote 40) and work in (international schools) with teachers and students on their writing. From specific stories, readers learn universal wisdom. Many books written for children should be everybody-books! Books, more than any other medium, can help you to ‘walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins'. The books I picked to share with you all do this.

Margriet's book list on childrens books that everyone should read

Margriet Ruurs Why did Margriet love this book?

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.

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. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

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…


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

Brett Dakin Author Of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason

From my list on the history of golden age comics.

Why am I passionate about this?

Brett Dakin is the author of American Daredevil: Comics, Communism, and the Battles of Lev Gleason and Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos. Brett's writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, the International Herald TribuneThe Washington Post, and The Guardian. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Brett grew up in London and now lives in New York City with his husbandand their dog, Carl.

Brett's book list on the history of golden age comics

Brett Dakin Why did Brett love this book?

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." 

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…


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

Tom Wheeler Author Of From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future

From my list on today’s roadmap to tomorrow.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fortunate to have spent the last 40 years of my professional life dealing with new networks and new technology. From the early days of cable television and mobile communications to the development of digital video and the transmission of data over cable lines and satellite. It was a career topped off with the privilege of being the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) with regulatory responsibly for approximately 1/6th of the American economy (on which the other 5/6s depended). 

Tom's book list on today’s roadmap to tomorrow

Tom Wheeler Why did Tom love this book?

At a time when new technology has delivered us to a world of misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation, we have lost our shared understanding of just what facts and truth are.

Jonathan Rauch helps us recall the importance of facts and truth to the liberal democratic process. He challenges us to reinstate knowledge and truth. 

By Jonathan Rauch,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


Book cover of The Eyre Affair

J.J. Cagney Author Of A Pilgrimage to Death

From my list on mystery for Agatha Christie readers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading mysteries in elementary school: Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King fed my thirst for story, puzzles, and the “super-psychological.” There’s so much about the mind we don’t understand—including our relationships with animals (like an octopus detective)—or the bond between twins (like the one in my Cici series). When I worked with Irene Webb as an associate literary agent in the 2000s, my fascination with the written word and “super-psychological” blossomed. I enjoy connecting motivations, secrets, and passions into a tapestry of humanity. At their core, stories teach us how to be more human, and I want to be part of that lesson. Please enjoy this book list I’ve curated for you.

J.J.'s book list on mystery for Agatha Christie readers

J.J. Cagney Why did J.J. love this book?

A friend recommended this series to me and, because we both enjoy British literature, I knew I’d give it a go.

What I didn’t expect was to be so utterly charmed, not just by the Britishism, but by the premise: literary detectives must stop her former professor before he can murder Jane Eyre…and have the heroine disappear from literature forever.

The alternative reality is a surreal, quirky 1985 that I reveled in (who wouldn’t want a pet dodo, airships, literary detectors, or a Prose Portal?), but it’s Thursday Next’s insights into her own mistakes, human motivation, and the beauty of the written word that gripped me until I’d finished the last page.

By Jasper Fforde,

Why should I read it?

8 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…


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

David M. Skover Author Of The Trials of Lenny Bruce: The Fall and Rise of an American Icon

From my list on freedom of speech history and purposes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a retired federal constitutional law professor, the former Fredric C. Tausend Professor of Constitutional Law at Seattle University Law School. Moreover, I am the coauthor of more than ten books, most of them focusing on First Amendment free speech topics. Often, I wrote at the intersection of popular culture and free speech rights. My booklist reflects my passion for books about the history, purposes, and practices of freedom of speech, particularly as it is exercised in the United States.

David's book list on freedom of speech history and purposes

David M. Skover Why did David love this book?

I have read dozens of books on a variety of free speech topics–everything from political dissent to hate speech to pornography. But I have never found a single book on the entire history of free speech over the ages of Western civilization.

I love the way that this work portrayed the most significant free speech struggles from ancient Greece and Rome, through the Enlightenment, and beyond to today’s social media controversies. More often than not, histories are boring and pedantic, but this history kept me involved and interested right up to the last page.  

By Jacob Mchangama,

Why should I read it?

2 authors 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…


Book cover of Hollywood Goes to War: How Politics, Profits and Propaganda Shaped World War II Movies

Sally E. Parry Author Of We'll Always Have the Movies: American Cinema during World War II

From my list on WWII movies and their influence on the homefront.

Why am I passionate about this?

My husband, Robert McLaughlin, and I taught at Illinois State University for over thirty years. Our fathers both served in World War II (one in the Army Air Forces and one in the Navy) but would never talk about it. That spurred our interest in the war and what it was like. One way to know about it was through the popular culture of the time, such as movies, plays, radio, and books. As we watched more and more movies and gave presentations on them (we’re English professors by trade), we realized how these movies still affect how we think about the war.

Sally's book list on WWII movies and their influence on the homefront

Sally E. Parry Why did Sally love this book?

If you want to know what sort of pressures the Hollywood studies were under during World War II, from the OWI to the Production Code, then this book will help you sort it out.

The studios prior to the war were concerned about offending paying customers overseas, but once the war started, the Roosevelt administration wanted some oversight in how our enemies, our allies, and the Home Front were presented.

One of the most interesting parts is seeing how films about the Russians changed from humorous to supportive as they became our allies during the war and then back to untrustworthy as the war drew to a close. 

By Clayton R. Koppes, Gregory D. Black,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hollywood Goes to War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Conflicting interests and conflicting attitudes toward the war characterized the uneasy relationship between Washington and Hollywood during World War II. There was deep disagreement within the film-making community as to the stance towards the war that should be taken by one of America's most lucrative industries. Hollywood Goes to War reveals the powerful role played by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Office of War Information--staffed by some of America's most famous intellectuals including Elmer Davis, Robert Sherwood, and Archibald MacLeish--in shaping the films that were released during the war years. Ironically, it was the film industry's own self-censorship system, the Hays…


Book cover of Warlight

Amanda Hale Author Of Mad Hatter, Volume 164

From my list on human relations in the altered reality of wartime.

Why am I passionate about this?

The writing of Mad Hatter (my 7th book), was fueled by curiosity about WW2 and about my absent father. I emigrated to Canada as a young woman and pursued a career in the Arts – theatre, painting, writing. But only when I embarked on this fictionalized family story did I begin to uncover shocking family secrets as I pulled together threads of childhood memory, woven in with research material, trying to make sense of it all. Writing has literally saved my life, and Mad Hatter has liberated me in a manner I could never have predicted. I am an intense, passionate workaholic, writing in many genres, exulting in life's surprises!

Amanda's book list on human relations in the altered reality of wartime

Amanda Hale Why did Amanda love this book?

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?

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.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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