Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz

How I Heard About It:  After reading Refugee by Alan Gratz and having some online conversations with him, I learned that he has another novel coming out during the fall of 2017.  He was gracious enough to send me an ARC that I'm going to share with my #bookexpedition group on Twitter.  

What It Is About:  Amy Anne is a fourth grader.  Amy Anne has two younger "annoying" sisters.  She is an avid reader.  Amy Anne lives for books.  When she arrives in her school library after waiting the required five days to recheck her favorite novel, she finds it missing.  Rushing to the librarian, she finds out it has been "banned" by the school board.  Not only has her favorite book been banned, but many other titles as well.  The kids at her school find out it isn't actually the school board that is banning books, but one particular parent of a student at her school.  Amy Anne and a bunch of her reading friends, as well as other students, come together to put an end to this nonsense.  The fourth grade students create a "secret library" in a locker, attend a school board meeting, and come up with the ultimate plan to show how important books are not only to the school library, but to the entire population of students.  

What I Thought Of It:  I began the book last night and finished it up this afternoon.  I could NOT put it down.  The plot was so engaging.  Being a book and reading lover, this storyline was right up my alley.  Amy Anne was an awesome character and I would so want her in my fourth grade classroom.  The overall plot is about "banned books", but there were several important sub-plots that added greatly to the book.  One of the strongest aspects of the story was the character development that Gratz created.  These characters jumped off the page and were so real.  I know that is going to be a book that I use in the coming year.  

Who Should Read It:  The cast of characters are fourth graders so I think it would be awesome to use this book in a fourth grade classroom.  I personally am going to use it as a read aloud because I know we will have some incredible discussions related to the story.  Of course it would also work in a fifth and/or sixth grade classroom.  Alan Gratz is such an amazing writer and one that ALL young readers should be introduced to.  If you are a reader and believe in freedom of readers choosing their own books, then you have to read this novel.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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