I'd like to stronlgy, deeply, fervently recommend this book:
, by James Clavell (yes, the Shogun
Oooh, full text is here
. It's super short.
eta: Just to clarify, what I love about this book is that it emphasizes the danger of blind allegiance, and the importance of teaching critical thinking to the preservation of democracy and resiliance against propaganda. If you read this lovely gem of an allegory, be sure to think of it in its contemporary context -- I came of age during the Cold War, and my father read this with me when it came out. I was nine. It made a big impression.