A powerful story of intersectionality and community, as well as race and privilege, this first book centers around a 16-year-old protagonist who moves between two different worlds- her home and her school- without much thought, until a horrific event leaves her considering her role in both. In the story, Starr witnesses the death of her childhood best friend at the hands of a police officer and must grapple with the effects of telling her truths about that night.
This story was first challenged in Texas schools, where it was pulled and then brought back in again after a student there organized a widespread petition. The following year, the book was challenged in South Carolina by the Fraternal Order of Police, citing that the book undermined confidence in the police there. This year, it made the top ten list of challenged books again, this time being cited for profanity and anti-police messaging.
The second book revolves around another 16-year-old girl, this time set in post-apocalyptic North America, where she and the randomly chosen other children are made to fight to their deaths in an annual, televised spectacle. Another comment on the power that the ruling body has and the inequality between classes, this book is the first in a trilogy that follows Katniss as she and others rebel against their oppressors.
This book has been cited for everything from violence to being anti-family to being satanic and, most recently, to inserting religious views. Anti-government protestors in Thailand used the hand gestures that characters use in the book to represent their solidarity against oppressive rulers.
Click here to see the answer to the first book!
Click here to see the answer to the second book!
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