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Banned or Challenged Books Kids Should Read

These top picks for children and teens for Banned Books Week – happening Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 2012 – carry lots of lessons in life and imagination

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Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Fantasy story about two children who become friends and play in an imaginary kingdom to escape the hardships in their life. The book has made the ALA's top-10 most challenged books list in 2002 and 2003, and had been on the ALA's 100 most challenged books list for two decades.

Reasons it's been challenged: Occult, violence and offensive language.

Why kids should read it: The book revolves around the importance of friendship and learning to make friends. It sends a positive message about overcoming life's difficulties – such as being bullied – by making new friends. It promotes imagination and, in the end, teaches kids about overcoming and coping with loss.

Suggested reader age group: 9+ years old.

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