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Ban This Book
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
Readers, librarians, and all those books that have drawn a challenge have a brand new hero.... Stand up and cheer, book lovers. This ones for you. Kathi Appelt, author of the Newbery Honor-winning The Underneath An inspiring tale of a fourth-grader who fights back when her favorite book is banned from the school libraryby 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. Thats when Mrs. Jones, the librarian, told her the bad news: her favorite book was banned! All because a classmates mom thought the book wasnt 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, Alan Gratz' 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
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Eggs
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Just google banned books — you‘ll be amazed!
The tagged book is a great novel that debunks censorship

#bannedbooks
#gratefulreads
@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
@OriginalCyn620

MelissaSue81 I have this book from the library right now. I need to get to it! 1mo
Eggs It‘s so good!! @MelissaSue81 1mo
Mandoul Thanks, sounds like a really good read! 4w
OriginalCyn620 Stacked! 4w
Eggs @Mandoul @OriginalCyn620 👏🏻🤗👏🏻 4w
59 likes7 stack adds5 comments
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EadieB
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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OriginalCyn620 Makes me want to pick out a banned book right now and start reading! 😠 1mo
OriginalCyn620 Oh, yes! 😊 1mo
46 likes3 comments
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Crinoline_Laphroaig
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

Definitely a Mirror Read.
Me as a Teenager: "I just sat in my favorite corner of the library and read books until I had to leave. It was the only time I ever got any peace and quiet."
Me as a Adult: "Every person should be free to read whatever they want, whenever they want, and not have to explain to anyone else why we like it,"
To Remember: “Once you ban one book, somebody, somewhere, can find a reason to ban every book,”
#bannedbooksweek ?

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Chelsibno
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Here is a closeup of two of the banned books on my bulletin board. @LiteraryinLititz

LiteraryinLititz Thanks for the close up! 3mo
33 likes1 comment
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Chelsibno
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Here‘s my banned books week bulletin board. Each little banned sign describes the reasons a book was challenged or banned. Lifting up the flap allows you to see the cover of the book with its title and author listed below it.

LiteraryinLititz How clever! Can you show us one close up? 3mo
Chelsibno @LiteraryinLititz Sure! I won‘t be able to post it until Sunday. I‘ll be sure to tag you in it! 3mo
28 likes2 comments
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Chelsibno
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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My banned books week book display! That poster took me forever to make! Yes, there are EXACTLY 50 stars and 13 stripes on it.

merelybookish Nice work! 😀 3mo
Chelsibno @merelybookish Thanks! I was determined to make it look accurate, especially for one student who makes it his mission to point out others‘ typos, mistakes, etc. 3mo
28 likes2 comments
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Branwen
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Another close up of my banned books display! 📚💕 #librarylove #librariansoflitsy

brilliantglow This is such a weird foreign concept for me. There are no banned books here. Didn't even know that was a thing that happened until I started following the bookish community more closely 3mo
Branwen @brilliantglow I really wish we didn't have this problem here! 😔 It's very disheartening that im this day and age there are still people trying to restrict what other people read! 3mo
brilliantglow It would be disheartening for sure. But readers are lucky to have people like you out there fighting the good fight, in whichever ways you can 🙂 3mo
Branwen @brilliantglow Thank you so much, friend! That really means a lot! 📚💕 3mo
brilliantglow ❤❤❤ 3mo
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Branwen
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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A close up of one section of my banned books week display! 💕📚 #librarylove #librariansoflitsy

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Branwen
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Here is my library display for this month! I may have gone a bit overboard? 😁 I couldn't help myself! 💕📚 #librariansoflitsy #librarylove

bromeliad I love it!! 3mo
DaveGreen7777 I love the light bulb motif and the captions! 😍 3mo
Branwen @bromeliad @DaveGreen7777 Thank you so much! 💕📚 3mo
Branwen @DaveGreen7777 It's the official theme for this year so I took it and ran with it! 😁👍 3mo
JacqMac Love! 💕 3mo
43 likes5 comments
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thebluestocking
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

This is a cute middle grade novel about a girl whose favorite book is banned from her school library and what she does about it. I loved Amy Anne and her friends and her family. I felt that the kids acted and talked a bit older than their advertised fourth grade level, but the book overall is delightful.

Jee_HookedOnBookz I love the title and the cover! 6mo
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Bookworm83
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

I set a summer reading challenge for myself...reading a YA book for each day of break. I‘m a couple days behind, but this was a great first pick! A book about fighting censorship and finding one‘s voice.
#YAbookaday

Peddler410 For something a little more YA, try 6mo
Bookworm83 @Peddler410 Downloaded! Thanks for the rec 😊 (edited) 6mo
Inspiretoreadwrite Excuse my ignorance, but what does YA stand for? Thanks. 6mo
65 likes3 stack adds5 comments
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Eggs
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Truth

wanderinglynn So true! 8mo
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Eggs
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

Alan Gratz is a genius. This is well done, anyone who disagrees with book banning should read this

rretzler 💕 8mo
tammysue 💗💗💗 8mo
Tamra This cover is wayyyyy better! 8mo
112 likes1 stack add4 comments
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megnews
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

After the disappointment of Property of the Rebel Librarian, Ban this Book was a great #middlegrade read. Check it out!

Book 94/165 3/12/19

JaclynW I loved Ban This Book! My son read it too and loved it. He also started the rebel librarian book and didn't want to finish it...sounds like you both are in agreement about that one! 9mo
megnews @JaclynW we‘re definitely in agreement! 9mo
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megnews
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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“We just have to start thinking like people who see stuff everywhere that bothers them.”

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Wendirella
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Just finished this gem and it makes 25!! I‘m halfway to my goal of reading 50 books from my physical shelves for the year!

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Mdonald
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Mehso-so

It was sad to read about all the titles that have been banned. It was also sad that I didn‘t like this a bit more. #litsyAtoZ #B✔️

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Mowen036
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I think anyone and everyone who has thought that a book should be challenged or ban should read this book! You can‘t let one person ruin it for everyone else.

Amy Anne and her friends saw the need to stand up and fight for what they wanted. Books are the gateway to our imagination. Books help the mind to grow and learn and to take you places that you never thought you could go.

Read the book...you won‘t be sorry.

julesG What are you doing with my cat?! Gosh, they could be twins. 10mo
Mdargusch I loved this book! 10mo
Mowen036 @julesG I just looked through your feed and your cat looks about how mine did a couple years ago! As he‘s gotten older (he‘s 6 1/2) he‘s gotten darker. My Siamese isn‘t a full one so he doesn‘t have that Siamese temperament but his sister who is a tortoise shell calico has it. 😬 10mo
julesG My Siamese is 25% Abyssinian. It doesn't show much in her looks but in temperament. 10mo
quanners I am reading this now and it‘s great! In the 4th grade I read several of these banned books and like Amy Anne said I‘m not a criminal, liar, or a thief. I had parents who encouraged me to read read read. 2mo
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Mdonald
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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😆

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Mdonald
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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I still remember “The Red Spot” story vividly! 🤢

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MaggieCarr
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

New plan. Play and win lottery and buy my entire community a copy of this AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING book! Beyond relevant in our town right now. "You're never too young to fight censorship!"

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silentrequiem
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

Because people compared Property of the Rebel Librarian with this book, I had to read it for myself. While the theme and the idea of a banned book library out of a locker are the same, the books are very different. This one is for a younger audience, and much more measured. Rebel Librarian is more radical and "fight the power". I loved both but Rebel Librarian spoke to my inner revolutionary more.

emtobiasz I don‘t think I realized there were two different books 🙈 That explains why I thought the cover changed so drastically! 10mo
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Peaceful_Reader
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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What a great cover! My third book this week. It‘s hard to balance reading lovely books with cooking and cleaning and Netflix‘ing...

Tamra Love that cover art! 10mo
Peaceful_Reader @Tamra : I agree! Sassy (edited) 10mo
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EadieB
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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InnerSavvy
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

Middle school book I really enjoyed. About books, young kids and growing in confidence.

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Jen_Reads
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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1. Maroon 5 at the Garden in Boston. We had floor seats so we were close to Adam...and James Valentine
2. Debating on rearranging my shelves of books
3. It‘s a middle grade book about a girl who starts and banned book library
4. McDonald‘s at lunch time, but non food related would be a T-shirt at the concert
5. Fries and pizza. I have no type just what I enjoy.

#humpdaypost

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Jen_Reads
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

This was such a great little book! I had been wanting to read it since it was first released. I loved Amy Anne standing up against books being banned. This may be a book I give to my cousins little girl.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Jen_Reads
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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This is a #blameitonlitsy post. I saw this a lot over the weekend and ordered it Sunday night. So far I love it and its an easy book to curb my anxiety a little.

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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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We had such an AMAZING discussion about Ban This Book! Thank you to everyone who participated! You really brought the discussion to life. So I had a couple titles in mind for our next #mgbuddyread but after this discussion I thought we'd add a twist. How about reading some banned books for our next few discussions??? Please comment with your thoughts and any suggestions you might have.

merelybookish Sure! How about Wait when Helen Comes? And it's spooky so fitting for October. 1y
TheBookHippie I'll read anything 🤣🤣🤣📚📚📚 1y
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Peddler410 Wait Til Helen Comes is PERFECT! For the season AND because of how it worked throughout the story we just finished. 1y
Daisey @merelybookish Love this idea for October! 1y
JaclynW What a great idea! I'm on board for 👻Helen👻 for the month of October. Maybe next time➡️ I've always wanted to read 1y
Chelsibno I love this idea! I agree that Wait Till Helen Comes is a perfect spooky selection for October! 1y
Lmstraubie Okay it's official! The next #mgbuddyread book is this one. @JaclynW I was so going to suggest Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret!!! I'm not sure if I ever read it. We can do this one next. 1y
Lmstraubie Just in case my last post wasn't clear - October #mgbuddyread Wait Till Helen Comes. November - Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. 1y
JaclynW @Lmstraubie Yay! I haven't read either book. I am excited! I just put Wait Till Helen Comes on hold at the library. I should have it in a few days. 👍 1y
TheBookHippie @Lmstraubie sounds good!!! 1y
Smangela WAIT TIL HELEN COMES?! YAS!!!! 1y
Chelsibno Hooray!!!!!!! 1y
Mdargusch Great 👍🏼 I already ordered 1y
34 likes16 comments
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Daisey
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Chelsibno
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

I loved this book so much! I‘ve shared it with a few colleagues & family members, & I plan on purchasing it for my school library! It cut to the heart of censorship issues in school libraries. I loved the characters & felt the author did a great job of developing them in fun & dynamic ways. I would recommend this book to any teacher, librarian, student, parent, or bibliophile. #mgbuddyread

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TheBookHippie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

#MGBUDDYREAD this book was purely excellent!!! I'm going to buy a copy for my favorite 5th grade teachers classroom and a couple copies to do book club with kiddos . Thanks so much @Lmstraubie so much fun!!!

SilversReviews Cute photo. 1y
TheBookHippie @SilversReviews cover of the paperback 1y
65 likes3 comments
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 10 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 Amy Ann violates reader‘s privacy at the school board meeting and Mrs. Jones addresses this. School librarians...how do you handle notifying students of overdue books while protecting their privacy as stated in Library Bill of Rights? (edited) 1y
TheBookHippie @Peddler410 notes in backpacks (edited) 1y
Chelsibno @Peddler410 I print off late notices for the students & give them to the students. 1y
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JaclynW This book encourages parents to be the ones that decide if a book is right for their child. Which I agree with, sort of. But. What if these same parents REALLY limit what their kids read? What if they ONLY show them one side of everything? I KNOW this happens. What if the kid WANTS to open their mind/world? How does a kid do this? With no parent support and fear of backlash? @Chelsibno @thebookhippie @Peddler410 @amie 1y
Daisey @JaclynW I wondered about this some as well, but I tend to agree with parent guidance at an elementary and middle school level. I believe in more personal freedom of choice for teenagers who will soon be considered adults. I‘m also constantly grateful for parents who let me read anything but honestly talked to me about their thoughts and beliefs in relation to those books. (edited) 1y
Daisey I‘ve seen a few people, possibly including @Peddler410, mention another book that seems to have a similar premise. Any comments on how the books compare? 1y
Peddler410 @Daisey The two books are so similar! The Rebel Librarian is a 7th grader and it is her parents who start the ban — even take EVERY BOOK out of her bedroom for “review”. A Little Free Library becomes the answer to her situation. There is also middle school crush/romance. Another wonderful story. 1y
Daisey @Peddler410 Thanks, I think I need to look for that one as well. 1y
JaclynW @Daisey @Peddler410 Thanks! I will have to look that one up too. 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 9 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 I would love to make this an all school read every other year! It‘s one of my huggable books. It was very well done ....except for the part in the reconsideration process where the librarian makes the final determination. That didn‘t feel right. 1y
Peddler410 I also love the end, when Dad steps in to use his right as the parent to guide Amy Anne‘s reading selections. Beautifully done! 1y
TheBookHippie @Peddler410 good idea for an all school read. I also agree the final decision shouldn't be the librarian . 1y
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TheBookHippie Loved the book!!!! 1y
Chelsibno I loved the book! I shared it with one of our 5th grade teachers, & she was so excited about the premise! I‘m planning on purchasing it for our library! @Peddler410 I also loved the ending when Dad guides Amy Anne‘s reading selections from the POV of a concerned parent. It really drove home the fact that it‘s okay to tell your own children what they can & cannot read, especially when you know they may not be ready for a particular book. 1y
JaclynW @Peddler410 I wondered about that reconsideration thing too! How would that realistically go down?? 1y
JaclynW I loved this book and will be talking about it with others for sure!! 1y
Mdargusch I loved it! I‘m so glad the author didn‘t “dumb down “ the subject. 1y
Daisey I really enjoyed this and have already promised it to a student on Monday. She saw me reading it last week and asked if it was going to be available soon. 1y
Smangela I adored this book and gobbled it up in something like 24 hrs. My favorite thing was that I felt it demonstrated that children DO have a voice. They CAN become involved and make real changes ♥️ 1y
Peddler410 @Smangela That is another part I loved so much! Showing kids using their voice to help make change 😊 1y
Peddler410 @Mdargusch So true about the not dumbing down. Reading it aloud to my daughter was a wonderful experience— especially since I had already read the book myself. 1y
Mdargusch I think the kids reading this would feel like maybe they really can make positive changes @smangela! What‘s our next book @Lmstraubie ? 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 8 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 I absolutely agree. I also believe that the people trying to ban books are doing so because they genuinely feel they are helping. At age 7, my daughter wanted me to burn a book because it had a short story in which a boy drinks poison. She was worried about other kids. She‘s come a long way, but It‘s Perfectly Normal is one she kinda agreed with Trey‘s mom 😉 1y
merelybookish Adults fear children's reading, I think, because it's an invisible act. You can't control how or what a person gets from it. 1y
TheBookHippie Some people want it banned to control the people and to not let them see another point of view, the subject matter, be educated ..a lot of times in my town it's about control- abusively so. 1y
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Chelsibno I agree that reading can‘t make you into a bad person. I think people ban books for a variety of reasons. Like @Peddler410 said, I think some people do it because they are concerned about others and believe they are helping. As @merelybookish and @TheBookHippie mentioned, some people do it as a form of controlling what ideas others are exposed to or have access to. 1y
JaclynW I agree with each of you. @TheBookHippie @Chelsibno @Peddler410 Unfortunately this is true and happens. I spoke of living in a conservative state. It is all about control here. They fear kids might start thinking for themselves. Conformity and being obedient is big here. It breaks my heart. No wonder we are a top leading state in suicide and anti-depressant/anxiety use. 😢😢😢 Kids are put in a box.The box doesn't fit everyone. Labels come with.👎 1y
Lmstraubie I think if someone is going to do something bad the initiative is already there. A book isn't going to create it. Banning the book almost makes it more desirable. 1y
Peddler410 @Lmstraubie I totally agree. 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 7 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 This can happen anywhere. For every person in a place there are that many ways of seeing a situation. There‘s a great video going around FB right now for suicide prevention month. We can never know someone else‘s story unless we sit down to talk with that person. (edited) 1y
Chelsibno This can happen in many types of situations. The one that immediately popped into my mind was religion. So many people read religious texts & interpret their teachings in many ways. There‘s nothing wrong with this, so long as you are accepting that other people may interpret it differently & don‘t try to force others to try to interpret it the way you do. 1y
TheBookHippie Politics religion parenting marriage etc etc etc 1y
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JaclynW @Peddler410 So true! 1y
JaclynW @Chelsibno So true! 1y
JaclynW The answer most definitely is EVERYWHERE!! 1y
Mdargusch Religion (the Bible) and politics! 1y
Lmstraubie Religion was what came to my mind first. It drives me bonkers how people use their interpretation of the Bible to fit their needs. But it really does happen everywhere. 1y
Smangela @TheBookHippie 🙌🙌🙌 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 6 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 Oh my gosh! I loved every character and often wished they could jump out into my world. 1y
Chelsibno Yes, I thought they were realistic, and I loved them! One part of the book I didn‘t find realistic was the layout of the school. Maybe this is just my own experience, but do elementary schools with lockers in the hallways actually exist? I‘ve seen so many tv shows & movies where elementary schools are laid out like middle and high schools. Every the elementary school that I‘ve ever attended or worked in had cubbies or lockers in the homeroom. TBC (edited) 1y
Chelsibno Do these mythical elementary schools that are set up like middle schools really exist in some parts of the country? I‘m really curious about this! 1y
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TheBookHippie I'm in 10 elementary schools every week ..all lockers @Chelsibno every elementary in our side of the state as far as I've seen from four years old on up . 1y
TheBookHippie @Chelsibno yes. Michigan . Illinois. I've see the set up. 1y
TheBookHippie Loved all the characters !!!!!! I will reread this in the spring when I do book clubs with 3-5 graders. 1y
Chelsibno @TheBookHippie Thank you so much for responding! I‘ve only ever seen elementary schools in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado. All of them were set up to have either cubbies or lockers inside the classrooms. Several even had bathrooms attached to classrooms, eliminating the need of bathroom passes. I figured that those types of buildings had to exist somewhere if television, movies, & books kept portraying them. 1y
JaclynW Yes. I thought it was realistic. I did wonder the same as @Chelsibno because our elementary schools don't have lockers. I loved the characters. @TheBookHippie I'm glad you are reading this with your school kids! My son wants to read it. I will definitely be recommending it. 1y
Lmstraubie I think for me it seemed like the students were older than 4th grade. 1y
Peddler410 @Chelsibno My daughter‘s elem school has lockers grades 1-6 — Illinois. @Lmstraubie I thought they were 5th grade... 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 5 #mgbuddyread

Amie Maybe shy or lacked confidence, but definitely an introvert and introverts tend to be thoughtful about what they say rather than just blurting out whatever they're thinking. 1y
Peddler410 This part frustrated my daughter throughout the book! 🙂 As an introvert myself, I carefully choose what words come out of my mouth. In Amy Anne‘s case, I think she felt her words weren‘t important...she didn‘t feel heard at home so she didn‘t speak up outside of home either. 1y
Chelsibno @Peddler410 I got the same vibe from Amy Anne. I was kind of the same way growing up. I‘d only speak up if I felt like I was going to be heard, so there were certain people & places where I was as silent as a mouse. I think her introversion also played a big part in it. She always seemed to carefully think about what she would say & considered if saying it would make a difference. 1y
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TheBookHippie @Chelsibno same with me. 1y
JaclynW I completely related. Amy Anne is/was me. I absolutely loved how in the end she spoke out and was gaining confidence in it. It is definitely a confidence/fear/intimidation/introvert thing. @TheBookHippie @Chelsibno @amie @Peddler410 1y
Mdargusch It really annoyed me that she didn‘t speak up. So when she did find her voice, I was thrilled! 1y
Lmstraubie @Mdargusch I felt the same way!!! 1y
Daisey I saw it as just a characteristic of her personality, but I also felt it gave her a great opportunity for growth through the story as she slowly started to speak her mind. It seemed to make her words at the end of the book have a greater impact. 1y
Smangela @Peddler410 I think you hit the nail on the head. It can also be hard to “disappoint” someone, like parents and it seemed like she really worried about that. 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 4 #mgbuddyread

Amie Not that I'm aware of 1y
Peddler410 When I started at my school 18 years ago, the librarian at another school in my district was preparing for her second attempt to get Blume‘s Forever back on ms shelves. I was a part of that, got my 3 mins in front of the school board. Many students, hs, spike and some parents as well—all in favor of reinstatement. 1y
Peddler410 A few years later, a teacher had an issue with page one of a book one of her students was reading. She brought her concern to me, I explained the process and offered to get her the form, she took the form and checked out the book. Neither was ever returned 😐 1y
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Chelsibno Not really. In the town where I attended undergrad college, there was an issue where someone kept trying to get And Tango Makes Three removed from the public library. When the board decided that they would not remove the book, this person decided that the best course of action was to continually check out the book. I‘m not sure how all that ended or if it‘s still going on. 1y
TheBookHippie Yes so constantly it's crazy, all of Judy Blume, anything on LGBTQI, many graphic novels, holocaust literature, and on and on . This is at school but our public library isn't much better you can loan it in from another district library but it won't be on the shelf. I complain constantly. 1y
JaclynW Not that I am aware of. But I will have to look into it. I've always been able to check books out that were on the banned lists at my public libraries. I do live in a very conservative state though. I do know of parents who will not allow their kids to read certain books (and watch PG-13 or R rated movies). I also know that the school librarians are conservative in what they put on the shelves because they know their audience. Cont.⬇️ 1y
JaclynW I was actually talking with the librarian at our junior high about THIS book we are discussing now by Alan Gratz. She said she just ordered it to put in the school library. I took this as a good sign. 1y
Lmstraubie I have never experienced this, but I now want to check with my local library to see if they have. 1y
21 likes8 comments
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Lmstraubie
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Question 3 #mgbuddyread (This question was spurred by some earlier discussion of the book.)

Amie I can't say how well he portrayed the character - I would like to hear from a person of color on that question. What I did think was interesting was that he described every character's race, including those who were white. So often white characters are not described as such because it's just the default - characters are just assumed to be white unless we're told different. 1y
Peddler410 This is a reread for me. When I got my paperback copy, I was excited to see Amy Ann as a character of color. I did not remember that she was African American from my first read through so ... I did pay closer attention to character description this time. 1y
Chelsibno @amie I agree. I‘m never really sure how to answer questions like this one as a white person. I agree I‘m that it‘s interesting that he described each characters appearance in a way that readers could pick up on what race they were. There are so many books where I just assume certain characters are white, because their appearances weren‘t adequately described. The descriptions were quick & didn‘t feel like they distracted from the story. TBC 1y
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merelybookish Well, as you know, this irritated me. In the big picture, it was not a big deal to the story. Other than mentioning skin colour in the beginning, it never comes up again. Does it matter that she's African American? If it doesn't matter, why make that choice? I don't know. But it felt misguided to me. We need more books written by people of colour. Not books by white people about characters of colour. 1y
Peddler410 @merelybookish I agree that it doesn‘t matter to the story. My assistant and I have had the conversation while reading ... if ethnicity is not directly mentioned, do all readers assume white characters? For me, I assume the characters match the ethnicity of the author unless I am told differently. This is why I always read the About the Author first. 1y
TheBookHippie I think it should be mentioned so kids see they are in a book and it's not all white people. Who the author is makes it more authentic for me if it matches the characters but I don't think it's necessary for the point to be made or for a child to say hey that's like me. 1y
JaclynW I agree with @amie and @Chelsibno that these questions may not be best answered by another person who is white. We may not fully be able to understand what it's like to be a person of color - even though we try to put ourselves in their shoes. But I will share my thoughts anyway. I agree with @TheBookHippie . I appreciated that the main character was not only a person of color, but a female (that I can speak fully of). Cont.⬇️ 1y
JaclynW I think kids should see that heroes/heroines come in all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, countries, etc. It is important for kids to recognize themselves in books. I particularly liked that the author spoke of a black girl who loves to read. Some people may have a belief that people of color aren't intelligent. Which, obviously, is a very false statement/ belief. I liked that the author showed girls and boys (of all colors) working together too. 1y
JaclynW I think the author (a white, male) did a good job of showing a character who has strengths and weaknesses that many can identify with. I liked that he tried to break many stereotypes. I don't think that the author's color or gender hindered his portrayal of these characters. I appreciate that he tried to do something different. Because yes, most of us automatically think a character is white unless told differently. 1y
Mdargusch I loved that he wrote this character. Authors often write the story as a character different from themselves. Sometimes it‘s successful and sometimes not. I think it worked here. 1y
Lmstraubie @Mdargusch @JaclynW @TheBookHippie @Peddler410 @merelybookish @Chelsibno @amie I am also speaking from the perspective of a white person, but I liked the fact that this was an "every day" type story (for lack of a better description) in which the main character is a person of color. It wasn't about slavery. It wasn't about civil rights. It was a situation in which the character could be of any background. She just happen to be a person of (con't) 1y
Lmstraubie color. I agree with @merelybookish that we do need more authentic stories written by more diverse authors, but we also need more "everyday" stories about diverse people. 1y
Chelsibno @Lmstraubie I do agree with your point of how we need more “everyday” types of stories with diverse characters. While stories that shed light on African Americans‘ lives during slavery or the Civil Rights Movement are important, they can become tiresome if those are the only types of stories featuring African American characters. Some of my own African American students have even told me as much. (edited) 1y
TheBookHippie @Lmstraubie absolutely agree!!! On all your points !! 1y
Smangela Nothing further to add. All great points! 1y
JaclynW @Lmstraubie I agree with your "everyday" stories comment. We definitely do need more. 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 2 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 One hundred percent, I agree. I‘ve pretty much said the same words myself. 1y
Chelsibno I totally agree with this. I‘ve pretty much said this to my own family members and teachers I have worked with. 1y
merelybookish Yes, absolutely! I believe any limits on reading are detrimental. The only possible upside is if it makes reading seem "dangerous" and leads kids to read in rebellion, as in the novel. 1y
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Amie I agree too. It's frustrating when I see kids' reading choices being limited because of levels or because certain types of books (like graphic novels) or other reading material aren't seen as "real" reading. 1y
TheBookHippie Absolutely and I fight for this daily on behalf of all my kids. 1y
JaclynW I wholeheartedly agree with every word Mrs. Jones said. And I'm glad @TheBookHippie @amie @merelybookish @Chelsibno @Peddler410 agree too! I whole army of people fighting to expand minds. Yay! 👏💪💗 1y
JaclynW I run the Scholastic Book Fair at my kids' junior high. The lady that ran it before me would not put books out if she thought they were offensive or not "real" books (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, graphic novels, etc). I put everything out!! I'm assuming you would all do the same @TheBookHippie @merelybookish @amie @Chelsibno @Peddler410 . If the kids are loving reading, that is the main goal for me. Those books can lead to other books. Why stop that?? 1y
Chelsibno @JaclynW I agree! I put EVERYTHING out & support every student‘s book choices. When I show my students the book fair video, I take notes about which books are getting the most “ooohs”, so I can purchase them for the library. As a fan of graphic novels myself, I love being able to discuss graphic novels with my students. 1y
Mdargusch I‘m reading books that are too easy. 😁 but I think being able to choose is so important. 1y
Lmstraubie @Mdargusch @Chelsibno @JaclynW @TheBookHippie @amie @merelybookish @Peddler410 I want to hang this above my circulation desk!!! My school has become OBSESSED with reading levels. Thankfully I have never been asked to level the library (not happening) & my new principal is trying to change the culture. Reading on level has it's place, but I don't think you can become a true reader without free choice. 1y
Mdargusch It seems to me reading a book above their reading level will be a teaching moment. As long as the subject matter is appropriate. And who doesn‘t love to go back and read old favorites that might be too easy? 1y
JaclynW @Lmstraubie @Mdargusch Free choice is a necessity! Too hard. Too easy. Let the kids decide! We adults can be used as guides and for encouragement. 1y
Daisey As a teacher, I do require my students to read books at or above a certain level much of the time. However, I also tell them I often read books below my reading level so we can always include a few. My main goal is to develop an open line of communication and find books that they enjoy to encourage them to read more. 1y
Smangela @Lmstraubie in elementary school we had the Accelerated Reader program - our principal ran it differently than most and I absolutely adored it. There were prizes, giveaways, lots of fun involved and all levels of books. I had a high reading level at a young age. At 3rd grade I was allowed to read up to 8th grade reading level - I was SO proud of myself for that. It felt good. But it also wasn‘t as monitored as it maybe should have been. ⤵️ 1y
Smangela I read “Are You There God? It‘s Me, Margaret” and was understandably pretty confused and my mom went in to the school and had them lower my reading level a little bit - solely for age-appropriateness. Which, now that I‘m older, I can understand. So on the one hand the reading levels were like a personal achievement but on the other I can see how they can be problematic with either pushing kids too much and then causing a dislike of reading or ⤵️ 1y
Smangela Subject matter that may be beyond what they‘re ready for. Great question. And I really feel strongly that books are a great way to open discussion with your children (as the parent) so there‘s that too :) 1y
Lmstraubie @Smangela I'm glad you had an overall positive experience with this. I had the same issues with my son's. The content for their "level" wasn't necessarily appropriate I just hate when I hear the kids saying, "I'm an O. Or I'm an M." No! You're a person and that is a level you read at in school to grow as a reader. It doesn't define you. 1y
Smangela @Lmstraubie absolutely! 👏👏👏👏 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Question 1 #mgbuddyread

Peddler410 Never! I explain to the students that I have a budget —not big — and therefore cannot purchase everything so I rely on reviews to help me choose. I‘m in a middle school so a book reviewed at 10th grade + usually doesn‘t make the cut. 1y
julesG Never! 1y
Johanna414 Never! I work in a 6-12 library and the district prefers that I mark some books YA and only check them out to the high schoolers. So I restrict as few books as possible and ask middle schoolers to bring in a note from home if they want any of the other books. 1y
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Chelsibno I would never consider banning a book from my elementary school library. Our school is K-5, so I try to find books that fall within the interests and abilities of those levels, with some higher level books that have age appropriate content for my higher level readers. I read book reviews and even inter library loan books through my public library to find out if they are a good fit for our school library. TBC 1y
Chelsibno When the movie It came out last year, I had a 5th grader who liked to try to get teachers‘ goats by asking them shocking questions. One day she asked if we had any Stephen King books in the library. I told her that we did not. She then asked why. I told her that I have a budget & am careful to purchase books that fall within the parameters I mentioned earlier & said that the public library was an excellent resource for books we don‘t have. TBC 1y
Chelsibno She tried to push the issue further. At which point I asked her if she really wanted to read a book that is over 1,000 pages long, & I took out a copy of Lonesome Dove from my bag to show her about how big Stephen King‘s It was. At which point her eyes widened and her mouth dropped open. She didn‘t realize that It was that long of a book. 😆 Lol, just a funny story from the library I thought I might share. (edited) 1y
merelybookish @Chelsibno Great story! I wouldn't ban books (and am not really in a position to do so.) I do try to avoid books that have racist stereotypes. 1y
TheBookHippie Hugely satanic or brutally violent towards people for violence sake . 1y
JaclynW This is such an interesting and tough question to be posed in reverse. I ask it. But I've never had it thrown back at me. My initial reaction/answer would be NEVER!!! Nevee would I ban a book. Information is power I always say. But then I think about what @TheBookHippie and @merelybookish said and I agree with them and wouldn't want that type of stuff to be spread around. But then isn't that the exact point that Amy Anne was making in this book?? 1y
JaclynW As we know and have seen especially in the past few years (on the news every day), there are views floating around out there that are very different from our own. Do we close our eyes/ears to it? Or take it all in and use our brains to process the good from the not so good? Obviously, older and more mature brains can do this better. Which is why @Peddler410 @Johanna414 @Chelsibno find age appropriate books for their libraries. Cont. ⬇️ 1y
JaclynW And hopefully parents are involved and having important discussions with their children about the tougher topics. But I know this isn't always the case. Which makes me then want to place a ban on books that could be harmful like @TheBookHippie and @merelybookish stated. It's like handing a child a loaded gun. This is reminding me of the "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie" book. Haha! A cycle that doesn't necessarily ever give a great answer. Cont.⬇️ 1y
JaclynW I do not ban any book from my own kids. They read what they want. But they are good at finding quality books. And if they read something that is disturbing, we talk about it. Like child abuse (A Brother's Journey), the Holocaust, Civil Rights, etc. These are mind expanding moments, not harmful. Oh gosh. I really feel like I'm talking circles. You can see why this is a touchy issue to some. And I know each of you feel as I do. ❤ 1y
Mdargusch I like the idea of books with possibly age inappropriate material being made available with the parents consent. 1y
Lmstraubie @Peddler410 @Johanna414 @Chelsibno @merelybookish @TheBookHippie @JaclynW I kind of had an idea of how Littens would respond to this, but the dialogue was even better than I expected! I too am a school librarian in a K-4 school. Sometimes I feel like I'm "banning" books when I chose not to add a specific title to my collection b/c it's not age appropriate. I know my 1st priority is to fill my library with age appropriate titles. It can be (con't) 1y
Lmstraubie So hard sometimes. For instance, this book is about 4th graders, but would you put it in a K-4 library considering the references to sex, even though the references aren't sexual? 1y
Lmstraubie @Chelsibno That story is FANTASTIC!!! 1y
JaclynW @Mdargusch @Lmstraubie Age appropriateness definitely plays a role. Kids hit this mark at all different ages so it's even difficult to label it with an actual number. This is where parents come into play. In regards to this book in your K-4 library...I would let the teachers put it in their classroom libraries (if they have them, they do here). Then 4th graders have it available to them but not the younger grades. 1y
JaclynW @Chelsibno My daughter, who was 14 at the time, wanted to read IT. She started and got a bit into it and decided it wasn't for her at that time. Maybe she will pick it back up, maybe she won't. My 12 year old son also wanted to read IT but saw the size and said no thanks! Although he is regularly reading books at 500+ pages. Self-regulation I guess...😄 1y
TheBookHippie @Lmstraubie this discussion is just wonderful such a good conversation w have going!!! I love it!!! 1y
Daisey I really appreciate this discussion because I often struggle with deciding about books for my 6-8th grade class library. I read some great YA, but choose not to put it on my shelves. At the same time, I sometimes mention those titles to the HS teacher or specific students who are more mature readers. 1y
CouronneDhiver I think age, stage/maturity and parental wisdom should dictate here. 1y
Smangela I love actually that I got to come in late to the discussions because I get to see all the input before I respond! First, I adored this book. GREAT PICK. Second, I definitely think the idea of having a signed note with permission about material that isn‘t age-appropriate is a great idea. Third, littens here with young ones - did you ever regulate by reading a book your child wanted to read first? I‘ve always liked that idea but my son is ⤵️ (edited) 1y
Smangela Only 22 months so I don‘t know if that is just wishful thinking or realistic? 1y
Peddler410 @Lmstraubie My daughter is in 4th grade and as we were reading the book aloud, she did say she agreed about “the sex book” being banned at elementary. Her overall experience with the book was SO GREAT and the conversations we had were even better! I would add it to a K-4 Library collection. 1y
Peddler410 @Daisey I‘m in a 7/8 school and find that reading/English teachers may have more mature titles than I might include in the school library. When asked why, I share reviews. 1y
Peddler410 @Smangela I mostly read MG and YA so most of what my daughter (9) chooses I am at least familiar with. When she chooses something new to me, I read the flap copy and if I have concerns I look it up. Sometimes I‘ll read with her, other times I check in with her each night. 1y
Lmstraubie @Peddler410 Thank you for the feedback!! 🙂 1y
Lmstraubie @TheBookHippie I know!!! I think this is the best discussion yet! 1y
TheBookHippie @Smangela when my daughter was in middle school and a book was questionable we read them together and discussed it as we went along this lasts to this day she's almost 30 . ❤️ 1y
TheBookHippie @Lmstraubie can't wait until the next one !! 1y
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Lmstraubie
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Good morning Littens! It's time for the #mgbuddyread on Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. Here is a link to his website for some background information: https://www.alangratz.com
I will be posting all the questions at once since I am headed into my son's hockey game. You can use the #mgbuddyread to locate the questions if you miss any. Here we go!🙂

monkeygirlsmama Well, crappity crap crap. I completely forgot to get and read this. 😣 SMH 1y
Lmstraubie @monkeygirlsmama You can still read it! Hopefully we connect on the next one 🙂 1y
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Daisey
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Pickpick

This book was great! I appreciated its commentary on censorship and how that concept was presented for middle grade readers. I loved all the book references. 📚

Looking forward to the #MGBuddyRead discussion this weekend. #MsDsLibrary

TheBookHippie I agree !!!! Also I have that same mug☕️ 1y
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Daisey
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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“It was a treasure trove, these stacks, and suddenly I had the idea that I was Smaug the dragon sitting on my piles of gold and jewels, and I would do anything to keep that hobbit and those dwarves from taking them back.
How had I not seen books as treasure before? I loved books. I couldn‘t imagine living without them. But I had never seen each book as such a valuable thing before. Even the books I wasn‘t interested in reading were like gold.”

JazzFeathers 😍😍😍😍😍 1y
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merelybookish
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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Just starting the #mgbuddyread, but something feels off about a white man writing about an African American family. In the first few pages, the shade of every family member's skin colour has been described. 😒
@Lmstraubie

BarbaraTheBibliophage I don‘t think that‘s weird, but I‘m white too. I‘m reading Congressman John Lewis‘ memoir right now, and he describes who is dark skinned and light skinned. 1y
merelybookish @BarbaraTheBibliophage Mostly I just don't understand why he makes the family AA. It feels a bit like pandering to me. There's such a lack of diversity issue in children's lit, we need more books by writers of colour, not books about characters of colour by white authors. Also, I get distinguishing between light and dark skin colour. But "pretty brown color" sounds off to me. 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage @merelybookish I see what you mean. I‘d much rather read books by diverse authors about their own diversities. Like Jacqueline Woodson, for example. And I agree about that particular description. Not what I picture a kid of color saying. 1y
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Lmstraubie @merelybookish I have some thoughts on this, but am going to save them for our discussion 🙂 1y
Tamra I haven‘t read the book or passage (but I‘m intrigued and have stacked) will add to the discussion that my own kids, who are Ethiopian by birth, definitely notice and sometimes comment on shades of skin color just as a matter of description. I don‘t mind others doing the same for the same reason, because silence may suggest something is wrong with the variation. It‘s a matter of fact. (edited) 1y
merelybookish @Tamra Yes that makes sense. And white people describe skin tone too: dark complected, pale, etc. I think I am fundamentally irked by a white man writing a family of colour. I'm further into the work but still don't know why. And I do find "pretty brown" an awkward phrase but maybe I'm wrong. 1y
Tamra @merelybookish I appreciate your sensitivity and can only speak for myself of course. 😌 I frequently wax poetic to my kids and others about their brown & curly beauty. (Out of total envy.) This begs a broader question about POV in lit, to which I have no definitive answers. (edited) 1y
merelybookish @Tamra Thanks! Maybe I'm too sensitive but I just feel it would be better to have more writers of colour. Not more white people writing books about people of colour. 1y
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Daisey
Ban This Book | Alan Gratz
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I've been reading this month's #MGBuddyRead book at school for silent reading time. It's fantastic so far, with great discussion about censorship and freedom of speech. I love all the book references, so I've been pulling a few of the other books mentioned (either those read by the characters or banned in the story) from my class library to promote along with it when I make it available for the students to read.

#TeachersofLitsy #BannedBooksWeek

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