Ban This BookBook - 2017
You're Never Too Young to Fight Censorship!
In Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, a fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don't mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books that will make you laugh and pump your fists as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship.
Ban This Book is a stirring defense against censorship that's perfect for middle grade readers. Let kids know that they can make a difference in their schools, communities, and lives!
"Readers, librarians, and all those books that have drawn a challenge have a brand new hero.... Stand up and cheer, book lovers. This one's for you." --Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor-winning The Underneath
" Ban This Book is absolutely brilliant and belongs on the shelves of every library in the multiverse."--Lauren Myracle, author of the bestselling Internet Girls series, the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011
"Quick paced and with clear, easy-to-read prose, this is a book poised for wide readership and classroom use."-- Booklist
"A stout defense of the right to read." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Gratz delivers a book lover's book that speaks volumes about kids' power to effect change at a grassroots level." --Publishers Weekly
From the critics
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Hands down … Alan Gratz’ newest book for tweens, “Ban this Book”, should be available in every school and public library!
When 4th grader Amy Anne Ollinger discovers that her favourite book, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”, has been removed and banned from her school library at the insistence of a parent, she and two friends take action. They set up a “secret” BBLL (Banned Books Locker Library) to make available the books which the parent has decided are “inappropriate” reading for students.
Of course, their schoolmates eagerly borrow the books! (Who can resist reading a book that’s been forbidden?)
When the locker library is discovered by the principal, Amy Anne and her cohorts find a clever way to counter the banned books problem in their school. Soon after that, soft-spoken, quiet Amy Anne finds the courage to speak up at a school board meeting about censoring books in local school libraries, with positive results.
Alan Gratz tackles some important messages and issues in this novel: censorship and who should decide what kids can or can’t read, the power of speaking up, the effectiveness of working together to solve a problem and making assumptions about others.
In his author’s notes, Gratz observes that each title banned in this story has actually been removed from a library somewhere.
Some useful discussion guides are included.
This year, Freedom to Read Week is February 28 to March 3.
Note: The Stratford Public Library does own a copy of E.L. Konigsburg’s “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler!
** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.
** Reviewed by Sally Hengeveld, librarian, Stratford Public Library.
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