An inspiring tale of a fourth-grader who fights back when her favorite book is banned from the school library–by starting her own illegal locker library!
It all started the day Amy Anne Ollinger tried to check out her favorite book in the whole world, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, from the school library. That’s when Mrs. Jones, the librarian, told her the bad news: her favorite book was banned! All because a classmate’s mom thought the book wasn’t appropriate for kids to read.
Amy Anne decides to fight back by starting a secret banned books library out of her locker. Soon, she finds herself on the front line of an unexpected battle over book banning, censorship, and who has the right to decide what she and her fellow students can read.
Reminiscent of the classic novel Frindle by Andrew Clements for its inspiring message, Ban This Book is a love letter to the written word and its power to give kids a voice.
I know we usually only review science fiction and fantasy here at The Arched Doorway but we thought that Ban This Book by Alan Gratz was about an important enough topic that it would be alright to make an exception.
I honestly don’t even know where to start with a review of a book that isn’t fantasy or science fiction so I’m going to start off by just stating what should be obvious. Ban This Book by Alan Gratz is a fantastic book that should be read by both children and adults alike. At its core this was a book about why it’s wrong to ban books or to tell people what they can or can’t read. I would think this would be obvious but the fact that we even have to still address this issue so often shows how wrong I am.
Amy Anne may only be a quiet little 4th grader but in Ban This Book she’s forced to stand up and tackle a very adult subject in a way that I absolutely loved and found to be fairly believable. One of my favorite things that Alan Gratz does in this book is to introduce the concept of banning books and just whats wrong with it to kids in a way that is easy for them to understand without oversimplifying the subject. As well as showing them that you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for something important that you believe in. I firmly believe that even kids can make a difference in a subject such as this.
Honestly, I would probably love this book for just the subject matter itself but luckily Alan Gratz is a great author and that definitely shows here. Ban This Book was well written and I found Amy Anne and all her friends to be believable characters that I easily empathized and fell in love with. I also think that the author did a great job showing kids that if they are going to address a topic such as this they need to be both loud and respectful when I do so.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.