A modern take on "Lord of the Flies."
I've always believed that kids should read whatever they want to read. Book censorship is ridiculous. You can't just hide certain things from us. What's the worst thing that could happen? I'd send my class to a deserted island and force them to kill one another? Doubt it. So, please, if your kid thinks they are mature enough to read Battle Royale, let them.
Now that's out of the way, let me talk about the actual book.
It's incredible. Stunning. Intense. I had to put down the book a few times in pure shock, and often felt like crying over characters. Koushun Takami manages to create realistic flesh and blood characters who have ideals, hopes, dreams, and motivations. You grow connected to everyone, from charismatic protagonist Shuya to brilliant yet emotionally crippled Kazuo. It's all very intense and thought provoking, and its purpose is to dig a little deeper into the psychological complexity of the situation, and says a lot about mankind. You think twice about the themes, and the truth of human nature. This book has serious commentary on authoritarian government, and could possibly be described as a marriage between Orwell's 1984, Golding's Lord of the Flies and Stephen King's The Long Walk.
Battle Royale is the ultimate allegory. A must read.
This title contains:
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking