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In not particular order of importance or priority but just done chronologically for simplicity's sake,
1) The Giver
by Lois Lowry. I had moved in the middle of 4th grade to another school, another country and my home room teacher read to us every week. Two other books she read was Hatchet
by Gary Paulsen which I didn't particularly enjoy and So Far From the Bamboo Grove
by Yoko Kawashima Watkins which I also adored. The Giver
stuck in my mind because it was the first dystopian book I knew of and the writing was so simple but it raised all these questions about ways of living, conformity, pain, love, humanity, whether or not breaking the rules for the "greater good" (or so) was worth it, interacting with other people, independence. Every time a teacher hands out a survey asking for our favorite book, I write down The Giver,
even in college. I do think almost everybody would find something in there that resonates with them, even if they are totally for conformity or live in a strict culture/community. I wasn't a big fan of the two sequels, but they did complete the story.
2) The first six books of Piers Anthony's eight-book Incarnations of Immortality
series. In this series there are various offices of life and normal people are invited to take the office. On a Pale Horse
is about Death, Bearing an Hourglass
Time, With a Tangled Skein
the three Aspects of Fate, Wielding a Red Sword
about War, Being a Green Mother
about Mother Nature, and For the Love of Evil
about the office of Satan (book 7 about the office of God). The stories are intertwined, all the main characters affect or touch upon the world and work of the other Aspects by love or family. It's not confusing, though, if read in a series. It's set in a world where magic and science co-exist.
The reason I loved the first five books was because it really opened my mind to possible society and interactions between people. But grown-up interactions, which The Giver
doesn't cover. While at the time - I was 13-15 years old - I wasn't experienced with relationships and physical intimacy, it gave me something to think. Also, thinking of Death, Nature, Fate, Time, War and Satan as mutable offices was fascinating, since I was raised in an organized religion household. I suppose my parents wouldn't be happy knowing that, yes, books were a factor in my growing doubts about the religion they raised me.
3) Mmmmm... I would have to say the series The Mage Storms
by Mercedes Lackey. They definitely weren't the first books by Lackey I read but they reinforced the idea that competing, conflicting and multiple religions can co-exist on one world/one plane of reality without too much bloodshed. Also that old feuding nations can work together. Storm Warning, Storm Rising
and Storm Breaking
center on very powerful magical storms disrupting and changing magic and the physical world, as a consequence of magical devices used centuries ago. Ambassadors and envoys from different nations and rivals with different religious beliefs come together to face the storms and try to find a way to divert them or protect settlements. There's also the factor of an army in Hardorn, the neighboring country to Valdemar (with their Companions) and possibly threatening Valdemar. Also, old enemies rear their heads up.
I'm not very good at describing the plot.... At that time I believed in tolerance for religion but it was hard to feel it because of my family so it was nice to see it played out in series and in a way that made freaking sense. I still don't believe in a religion but I hope there aren't multiple supernatural beings who truly believe we should kill others for their beliefs and non-belief in them...