Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

Published by Starscape

Summary:  When Amy Anne discovers her favorite book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, has been removed from the library by the school board, she’s outraged.  Turns out her favorite is one of several books taken off the shelves at the request of a parent.  Amy Anne has always been quiet, a “good girl” who doesn’t speak up at home or at school, even when she’s angry.  Slowly, with the help of a few good friends, she begins a protest against the banned books.  It starts with the B.B.L.L., in which Amy Anne turns her locker into the Banned Book Library Locker, and encourages other kids to read the banned books.  When this is discovered, Amy Anne is suspended and her beloved school librarian loses her job.  This only increases Amy Anne’s determination.  She and her friends come up with a plan that involves the whole school, and shows the school board and the mom who initiated the ban how important books–all books–are in the lives of kids. Includes a discussion guide with questions and activities. 256 pages; grades 4-6.

Pros:  An inspiring manifesto in favor of the freedom to read.  Readers will cheer for Amy Anne and her transformation from shy introvert to community activist, fueled by her passion for books.  The author notes at the end that all the books banned in the book have actually been challenged or banned in the last 30 years.

Cons:  Amy Anne’s suspension and the librarian’s firing seemed overly draconian, given the offense.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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