I would force children to read this.
Plato presents, in the form of an exteremly onesided dialogue, some of the greatest ideas ever.
Plato's Republic may seem opressive; but, he accomplished what he desired, the just state for all. The ideas presented here have lasted longer than an certain anthology of texts which is the foundation for the largest group of usurpers in the world, and I would hope that Plato's ideas outlast these others. They will. Two and a half millenia have tested Plato and Co., and they a have survived.
The material here is not inaccessible; indeed, it is well written. However, do *not* purchase this translation. Desmond Lee's translation, printed by Penguin, is far more readable. Trust me here.
For those of you who need a bit more excitement than the voyeuristic pleasure presented, it should be noted that Socrates, the princible speaker, and the respondents, happen to make frequent bad puns and jokes, as well as sexual comments, so this isn't for childre- no, wait, there are about three pages total in four hundred dealing with sex. And Socrates likes little boys.
This is superb. Anyone who never reads from it is missing a piece to the whole.