Genre: Middle School Contemporary
Recommended Age: 8+ (S-E-X is spelled out in it and some books are banned for supposed mature content. Judgment call to parents).
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of KidLitExchange. All opinions are my own.
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! – Amazon.com
Have you ever read a banned book? Has your favorite book been banned before? If so then you can definitely identify with the pain that Amy Anne goes through in this heartfelt book about a quiet, timid girl who learns to find her voice for the sake of books. I thought for a middle grade book, this book was a very appropriate read for anyone of any age. The character development was well done, the plot development was strong and sound, and the pacing was very smooth and pretty perfect. The book was a very easy read and the author’s writing style worked well for the type of pacing I believe a book like this needed. The book needed to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time and I think the author’s writing was wonderfully done. The book also dealt with a subject matter (book banning) that is very controversial and handled it very well. I think while people have their own opinions on what kids should read the author presented a very middle-ground message that reads books should be accessible for anyone to read unless their parents say otherwise.
This wasn’t a concern of mine but it might be to others: the author’s stance on book banning is her own and one she highlights in a positive light in the book. Her arguments for her stance are highlighted very well and are one of the reasons why I think this book would be appropriate for anyone of any age. The arguments against the author’s position are handled in a negative light and it can be frustrating for those who have differing opinions then that of the author’s. So, if you have strong opinions about book banning, you might want to read about this book beforehand to see if this book will be a fit for you.
Verdict: Hands down I love this book and I thought the book dealt with a very serious issue in a very mature, but age appropriate manner. I think this book would be a great diving board for discussion on book banning and a great book for relaxed reading in general. Definitely an awesome read for anyone of any age.