My favorite Banned Book: The Giver by Lois Lowry
I remember reading The Giver as a young adult in middle school. It was pretty mature reading for someone that age, but I really enjoyed it. The Giver was one of the few books that I felt didn't treat you like a child, but instead was right on the level.
It dealt with many concepts that previous books hadn't. Pain and loss, happiness, regret, memories. It also addressed things that no other book I had read ever did, and really expanded my literary tastes. No longer was I happy reading the boring literature of my schoolmates, but instead wanted something with a lot more meat to it.
The Giver deals with a lot (A LOT) of controversial issues. A Utopian (dystopian, perhaps) society, where choice and free will no longer have meaning. Life, death, euthanasia, infanticide. Heavy stuff for a young adult, whose main concerns are when the hot pockets are going to be done. It really questioned you morally about what was right and wrong. When is it okay to lie, if ever? To what lengths are you willing to go to save a life, and do what is right?
Parents in some school districts found this book objectionable, and it has been both contested and banned in many of said school districts. I find that The Giver is among good company on the banned list, along with Mark Twain, Ray Bradbury, Ernest Hemingway and J.D. Salinger. Some of America's best writers are on the bad list.
That is because great authors deal with issues. They give you substance. The Giver has this in spades. If you want your young adult to be a moral person, challenge his moral beliefs with The Giver, or even read it along with him or her, so you can discuss it.
I am sure he will have questions, help him answer them.
Watch the movie below where Lois Lowry talks about The Giver.