5 Books We Dare You to Read

It takes a special book to be chosen as a One Book, One Chicago selection, and through the years, we’ve read some extraordinary stories together as a city. It might surprise you to know that not everyone thinks all of our past One Book, One Chicago titles are as special as we do. In fact, several of them have been challenged or banned across the country!

This season, as we celebrate Freedom To Read, why not exercise that freedom and check out a One Book title that has faced a challenge or ban, according to the American Library Association.

To Kill A Mockingbird, the inaugural One Book title, was written in 1957 and addresses civil rights and social injustice.

A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry’s exploration of dreams deferred, was the first title by a Chicago author and the first play chosen for One Book, One Chicago.

In the Time of the Butterflies tells the story of the Mirabel sisters' efforts to overthrow a dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.

Go Tell It on the Mountain, a flagship work of American 20th century culture, tells the story of a boy coming of age under the gaze of a minister father.

The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros’ seminal novel of a young girl growing up in a Chicago Latino neighborhood, depicts a unique and vibrant world of characters.

Want extra credit? It's not among the frequently challenged books, but The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is about a young girl taking risks to save books the Nazis want to destroy, and is a great story about the power of the written word.

Explore more great books, visit our list of previous One Book, One Chicago titles.

Happy reading!