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Ban This Book 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 UnderneathAn 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 libraryIt 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 readAmy 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 readReminiscent 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 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

10 thoughts on “Ban This Book

  1. mindful.librarian ☀️ mindful.librarian ☀️ says:

    A wonderful message about the the power of speaking up in this middle grade novel for book lovers and librarians Thanks to the author for providing me with an advance copy of this novel for review purposes all opinions are my own As a school librarian I am surely than a little prejudiced in loving this story so much a story of a parent getting a huge number of books removed from the school library without following proper procedure because the school board is bending to her will AND a story of a student fighting back by creating a library of banned books in her locker to share with her classmates I love the storyline of Amy Anne struggling to find her voice and actually speak up about things that bothered her and finding her place in her chaotic family I do wish that the story would have been based on 6th or 7th graders however rather than 4th graders given the higher level of the text and the locker premise I feel like the lockers would resonate with the middle school crowd rather than elementary and increasing the age of the students would allow the story to be appreciated fully by a much wider age range of students This story would definitely be appreciated by middle schoolers but due to the 4th grade setting most will probably stay away In addition some of the racial references while I understand their intention felt a little clunky There is also a great Common Core aligned discussion and activity guide included at the end of the book Highly recommended for school libraries and classrooms and a definite read aloud for 4th and 5th grades

  2. Maureen Maureen says:

    I absolutely love this novel Ban This Book has a simple premise a well meaning mother wants books removed from an elementary school library for various reasons that are important to her However when avid reader Amy Anne learns her favorite novel is on the list the uiet little book worm takes action Amy Anne enlists help from her friends Danny and Rebecca to save the books from being banned This novel made me sad angry and helpless as I read because I know many books are banned daily in schools across the US However I also felt hopeful because there are Amy Anne's who can help fight the good fight to protect our right to read ALL books Amy Anne said it best Nobody has the right to tell you what books you can and can't read Except your parents I'm so thankful to NetGalley for allowing me to be an early reader of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review I'm also thankful to Alan Gratz for continuing to tackle important issues in his novels

  3. Connor Connor says:

    My Video Review

  4. Josiah Josiah says:

    Alan Gratz was definitely better known for historical fiction when Ban This Book came out in 2017 but this novel was spectacular proof of his versatility a contemporary school drama charged with all the electricity a reader could ask for Amy Anne Ollinger age nine isn't happy with her home life She's continually asked to defer to her little sisters Alexis and Angelina who don't allow Amy Anne a moment's peace to curl up in a comfortable spot and enjoy her favorite book EL Konigsburg's From the Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler Amy Anne's parents are oblivious to her frustration and would be angry if they knew the real reason she stays after school every day not because she actually participates in any clubs but so she can read uietly for a few hours in the school library Amy Anne has a uiet personality and rarely complains but she's about to encounter a problem worth speaking up about Where did Shelbourne Elementary's copy of From the Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler go? It's missing from its familiar spot on the shelf Mrs Jones the school librarian breaks the news to Amy Anne that the novel along with eleven other popular books and series has been pulled from the shelves because of a parent's complaint Pending review the material in uestion may be permanently removed Amy Anne isn't known for defying authority figures but she won't let the school take her favorite book without expressing opposition Her parents are willing to buy her the book but what about kids who don't have that luxury? What about ones who have yet to discover EL Konigsburg's award winning novel? Amy Anne attends a school board meeting to discuss the issue but can't muster the courage to walk up to the lectern and defend her opinion in front of so many people Mrs Jones articulates the case for established procedure to be followed regarding challenged books but Mrs Sarah Spencer—the mom who contested From the Mixed up Files of Basil E Frankweiler and the rest—convinces the board to give in and just remove the books With hardly a word of warning the materials are banned Amy Anne and her friend Rebecca Zimmerman who acts the part of the high powered lawyer she wants to be someday are disheartened Rebecca never showed much interest in reading but she's curious about Amy Anne's favorite book that is now banned so Amy Anne loans her the copy her parents bought her Danny Purcell usually preoccupied with his hair also takes interest in the eleven confiscated books He has some of them at home and brings them to school for Amy Anne and Rebecca to read Without intending to Amy Anne becomes the conduit for her fourth grade peers to read material banned by the school board via secret exchange of letters slipped into Amy Anne's locker reuesting to borrow specific books Her stash grows as students contribute their own books to the BBLL Banned Books Locker Library Nervous by nature Amy Anne hopes the principal Mrs Banazewski doesn't hear that she's the conductor for this underground railroad of literature Meanwhile Mrs Spencer continues to cause problems for the school librarian Mrs Jones threatening to challenge additional books Mrs Spencer's son Marvin Trey McBride is a constant presence in the hall near Amy Anne's locker What if he learns that Amy Anne's locker is stuffed with books his mother ordered removed from the library? It would be goodbye to freedom of thought for Shelbourne Elementary students Amy Anne does her best to keep track of Trey but she can't control his whereabouts If she weren't already anxious having Trey hang around would do the trick The school board wields most of the power but Mrs Jones strikes a blow for free expression by using a financial endowment to bring Dav Pilkey in for a school visit Author of series such as Dog Man and Super Diaper Baby Dav Pilkey also wrote the Captain Underpants books which were on Mrs Spencer's original list of challenged works Amy Anne isn't a fan but sitting in the same room with a successful author is exhilarating; even for us the reader the excitement is nearly as high as if we were seeing Mr Pilkey live The teachers don't all approve of his writing and he chooses his words carefully when answering Amy Anne's uestion about his books being banned at Shelbourne but Dav Pilkey has a surprise to help Amy Anne make his books accessible to all His visit doesn't change the school's policy but Mr Pilkey provides encouragement to Amy Anne and her subversive friends None of the kids want to mess up the BBLL by spilling the beans to Mrs Banazewski but there are too many kids reading books from Amy Anne's locker to keep it secret forever Who actually tells the principal that banned literature is changing hands on school grounds? That isn't as important as figuring out what to do next Mrs Jones and Amy Anne are both severely punished and the free flow of books is staunched for the foreseeable future Amy Anne was too scared to make her voice heard at the school board meeting but how about now that books have been removed and her reputation is in tatters? Will other kids hate her because they were disciplined for their involvement in the BBLL? It's time for Amy Anne and her core allies—including a few she can hardly believe are supporting her—to craft a well researched defense based on freedom of speech that even Mrs Spencer may be unable to penetrate If the kids of Shelbourne Elementary want to read what they like without fear of someone else's parents telling them no they need to turn in a virtuoso performance at the next school board meetingbut does Amy Anne have the gumption to stand up to adults when they're in the wrong? Book banning and censorship is covered comprehensively in these pages so there isn't a lot I need to add Most readers agree that strangers don't have the right to restrict what we read but Mrs Spencer has a point when she says not all books should be allowed in a children's library Would a responsible library interfile lewd adult books with juvenile novels? No; adult books should be marked as such and shelved in their own area of the library But what if inappropriate adult content creeps into children's books a failure of publishers to delineate between material that is and is not kid appropriate? Wouldn't it fall to parents and librarians to filter what kids read? It's a legitimate uestion but Mrs Jones's response holds firm that's why a procedure is in place to reexamine books that may cross the line of propriety If a challenge is made and the librarian agrees the book is patently inappropriate it will be removed Bypassing this process puts too much power in the hands of authorities inevitably eroding the right to free speech If kids don't learn to value natural human rights in school when will they? I'm sold on Alan Gratz as a great storyteller He possesses the juice for sure an electricity of narrative that makes this book worth reading Ban This Book introduces us to big philosophical concepts through well honed scenes that drive the story while amping up the stakes and authentic characters we go from loving to loathing and back again emotional swings that had me breathless as I read Amy Anne? Trey? Jeffrey Gonzalez? Alexis and Angelina? They are a few of the unforgettable people in these pages And what could be better than a book that features Dav Pilkey as a character as well as offering homage to several of my favorite books including Katherine Paterson's Bridge to Terabithia and Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Certain plot points may be a bit too convenient and Amy Anne's capacity for logic and elouence that of her friends too stretches believability but Ban This Book is superb and I'd probably rate it three and a half stars Alan Gratz is a talent to behold

  5. Skip Skip says:

    When school boards start banning books because they don't like their content or ideas it's time for them to go In our local district I believe Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible was removed from the high school curriculum for a period for its purported anti Christian biasThis middle grade book follows young Amy Anne Ollinger's battle to reverse a decision to remove her favorite book and my sister's From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler among others from the school library She starts the BBLL Banned Books Lending Library out of her school locker and eventually takes on the school board assisted by some friends some expected some not The book is also about Amy Anne's family life and maturation over this seminal issueI did not care for the she wants to say X but instead says Y or says nothing style used repeatedly by Gratz although it is probably very real for most people

  6. Leah (Jane Speare) Leah (Jane Speare) says:

    Banning books What does that mean exactly? All it takes is one unhappy parent for a book to be banned in a whole school And in Amy Anne’s school dozens of books are getting banned including her favorite From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler That’s when she decides to put together the BBLL Banned Books Locker Library for other students to access the books for what’s exciting to read than a book you’re told not to? Amy Anne and her friends learn the importance of speaking up for what you believe in and the power of the first amendment free speech All of the books mentioned in here are real and have been challenged and banned in real life for a variety of reasons mentioned in the book I recommend this empowering story to readers of any age

  7. Book Concierge Book Concierge says:

    Fourth grader Amy Anne Ollinger is stunned when she tries to check out her favorite book from the library only to find it missing Someone else must have checked it out after she returned it yesterday So she askes Mrs Jones the school librarian if she can put a hold on that title That’s when she learns that the book has been removed because another student’s parent complained it was “inappropriate” And this is just the beginning The mother has a list of books she wants removed from the school library’s shelves Amy Anne together with her friends Rebecca and Danny decide to form the BBLL – Banned Books Locker Library They get a copy of every book on the list and put in in Amy Anne’s locker loaning them out to all the kids at schoolI loved Amy Anne I loved how she starts out a uiet shy girl who virtually never voices her concerns out loud but who takes action to right a wrong I like how she ultimately gathers her courage and marshals all her friends in the school – even those she didn’t previously know she had – to help bring the issue to a head and formulate a satisfying conclusion After all “for all the amazing things that books can do they can’t make you into a bad person” Brava Amy AnnePerfect read to celebrate Banned Books Week

  8. Eva B. Eva B. says:

    To be uite honest I thought this was a young adult book going in or at least upper middle grade It isn't It centers on a fourth grade reader named Amy Anne who starts a locker library for banned books after a wave of bans hits her school library taking out several books including her favorite one While I'm familiar with Gratz' other middle grade works this was a case of it's not you it's me The writing in this was very juvenile and definitely overused the actual communication of feelings is what I wish I said Instead I said something else which was cute at first and uickly grew annoying The climax was good though and the scenes where the kids figured out reasons to view spoiler ban almost every book in the library to show the adults how ridiculous they were being hide spoiler

  9. Fatma Fatma says:

    A story that was cleverly written and the plot was maturely developed till the endWhat i liked most about that book that by the last half of it the reader has to think and get to walk in someone else's shoes That was way better than the good characterbad character cliche that most children books are usually filled withThe kids will learn that every personfactthought has it's other face that should be explored before giving a judgement Mary Ann's feelings to her home life reminded me a lot with mine Parents please make enough rooms in your house before stupidly having babies Thank youI would definitely consider having that story in our library

  10. Alex Baugh Alex Baugh says:

    If fourth grader Amy Anne Ollinger were to be asked by Goodreads to name her absolute favorite book it would definitely be From the Mixed up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler Not that she doesn’t love other books but this is the one she checks out of the school library over and over and over So imagine her shock when she goes to get it off the shelf yet again andit’s gone And it’s not just From the Mixed up Files that is no longer there The librarian Mrs Jones tells her that it was decided by the school board that it is inappropriate for the kids in her school to read From the Mixed up Files had been BANNED along with 10 other books all because one influential read rich parent Mrs Spencer decided they should beAfter her parents buy Amy Anne her own copy of From the Mixed up Files she lends it to her best friend Rebecca who has never read it Then someone else asks to borrow it and Amy Anne discovers that Danny a boy in her class has a copy of When Helen Comes which was on the list and he’s willing to lend it to her to readAs copies of the banned books begin to be swapped back and forth among the fourth graders it soon becomes apparent that something needs to be done to keep track of them And so the Banned Books Locker Library aka the BBLL is created in Amy Anne’s locker And as and books are removed from the library’s shelves thanks to Mrs Spencer the acuisitions for the BBLL expands accordingly often with the help of other studentsNow you know that the BBLL couldn’t continue for too long without the principal finding out and she does but not the way you would expect it to happen And there are conseuences but one of the most important results of being discovered as President and Chief Librarian of the BBLL is that Amy Anne finds her voice and finally learns to speak up for herself about the things that bother her And all the fourth graders learn that they can make a difference when they believe in their cause Here it’s censorship because as Amy Anne explains “Nobody has the right to tell you what books you can or can’t read Except your parents”Ban This Book is a fun book with a serious subject and very serious message but I believe it is one that kids will certainly think about as they realize that some of their favorite books have been challenged for all sorts of reasons And while this is an issue novel about censorship it also addresses the idea that a school board can make rules for removing books from the library and then circumvent them willy nilly to appease an influential parent and that isn't right Amy Anne is a wonderful character She’s a strong intelligent champion for books and readers and she is loyal to her friends After being caught running the BBLL she didn't rat out her friends that helped her in an effort to make things easier for herself now in my book that is a good friend I should mention that every book mentioned in Ban This Book and there are a lot has been or is still being challenged Is your favorite book in the sights of the censors?This book is recommended for readers age 8This book was provided by the Tom Doherty Associates

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