Books: Lord of the Flies
They say that when it comes to food, "the first bite is with the eyes." I posit that the same is true for books; an eye-popping or striking cover can do a lot to sell a book, especially to a young boy. That's what happened with me and "Lord of the Flies," by William Golding.
I'm not sure who painted the cover illustration above, but it neatly encapsulates what the book is really about. "Lord of the Flies" is not about a tropical island or even the conflict between the marooned boys on that island - rather, it's about evil and human nature. First published in 1954, the book takes traditional notions of 19th century inborn civility and society and tosses them out the window.
As an allegory, it's fairly powerful, I suppose. But the real strength of the book isn't that "Piggy = science" or other such simple equivalencies, but that these boys feel more real than simply talking heads attached to a theme. We've met these kids before. And that makes what happens even scarier.