Ban This Book: A Novel Review

Ban This Book: A Novel Review


Ban This Book: A Novel Review

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Ban This Book: A Novel Review

Ban This Book: A Novel


  • Language: ‎English
  • Paperback: ‎256 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎0765385589
  • ISBN-13: ‎978-0765385581
  • Reading Age: ‎9 – 12 years
  • Lexile Measure: ‎690L
  • Grade Level: ‎Preschool – 2
  • Item Weight: ‎9.1 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎5.44 x 0.69 x 8.31 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #24,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books), #31 in Children’s Books about Libraries & Reading, #53 in Censorship & Politics, #696 in Children’s Friendship Books
  • Customer Reviews: 4.7 out of 5 stars 1,402 Reviews


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! “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 Underneath“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“Quick paced and with clear, easy-to-read prose, this is a book poised for wide readership and classroom use.”―Booklist “A stout defense of the right to read.” ―Kirkus Reviews“Gratz delivers a book lover’s book that speaks volumes about kids’ power to effect change at a grassroots level.” ―Publishers Weekly


  • Stirring defense against censorship
  • Engaging and relatable characters
  • Encourages kids to make a difference
  • Quick-paced and easy-to-read prose
  • Great for classroom use


  • Dialogue may seem lofty for the fourth-grade protagonist

Customer Reviews:

This book is for every kid who ever had her or his favorite book banned. I had this happen to “Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great” because it talked about glue sniffing (it painted it has a bad gross thing) I fought for it and got it back, and the other banned books from my middle school library. The PTA had my back, and told the new grumpy old everyone deserves freedom of thought, and school is no where for the “thought police”. Welcome to Alexandria, Virginia one of the most well-read cities in the country; we read books, a lot of them. And this book is about freedom and the right to access information, be it a fiction book or a nonfiction. It’s also about realizing that you have a voice, and a right to be at the table too. Even if you’re only in 4th grade. I enjoy that the characters in this book are empathic to each other. It brings me back to my days in school, and trials and tribulations I went through. The kids have deep character development, and are written well. And Principle Banana, is a really good depiction of a well-meaning administrator, who just has no clue about what’s really going on in her school or what the kids and staff want or need. She also comes off to me as cold, I have known elementary school principles like that. If I was teaching elementary school, I would have more then one copy of this in my class library. (In fact I know some Little Free Librarys that will be getting copies of this title.) This is also a great title for classroom reading. In closing I love this book.

I’ve been slowly making my way through a long list of books recommended by a librarian I follow on social media. And how ironic that the next one on the chopping block was about books themselves….or more specifically, the banning of them from library shelves. And as someone who has loved reading her whole life, and now self-publishes books herself, I was instantly intrigued on how this hot button issue would be handled. And I can easily say this is one of the most entertaining, heartfelt, and satisfying fights for free speech and argument against censorship I’ve ever come across.Nine year old Amy Anne is an extremely shy fourth grader who wishes she had the courage to speak what’s truly on her mind. And having to come home to a loud and chaotic house filled with rambunctious dogs, two bratty younger sisters, and parents who are too busy to pay her any mind and dump a ton of responsibility on her doesn’t help. Her only escape is into the world of books and the tranquility of the school library. But things take a turn for the absolute worst when her favorite book—‘From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’—is banned from the library for supposedly being inappropriate for kids, with many more titles being pulled soon after. No longer wanting to take things lying down, Amy Anne and her friend establish a secret library out of Amy Anne’s locker in which the students can borrow all the banned books. But the more this covert operation grows, the more the chances increase of someone getting caught. And when good intentions lead to serious consequences, Amy Anne will have to find her voice and convince an entire school board that no one has the right to decide what someone can and can’t read.Since it’s February as of the time of this review, what better way to celebrate Black History Month than with a story with a young black girl as the protagonist? Amy Anne is an instantly relatable and sympathetic kid who doesn’t see any point in speaking up when virtually every adult around her either ignores her or never takes her seriously. (I nearly started hating the way her parents never disciplined the two younger siblings, but thankfully, they ARE called out on this later on.) But in her efforts to fight the book ban, she’ll unlock an inner strength and courage she never knew she had. Even more surprising to her, the bigger her secret locker library becomes, the more unexpected allies she finds rallying to her cause. From the kind librarian Mrs. Jones who is willing to put her job on the line to fight for the children’s rights, to fun-loving Danny who uses his charm to recruit more students to the cause, to straight-laced Rebecca who uses what she’s learned from her lawyer parents to help with any legal issues. (Let’s just say I’ll take the phrase “never leave a paper trail” far more seriously now.) Even Trey, the son of the lady who started the bans to begin with, shows a rebellious side, proving the age old phrase of “don’t judge a book by its cover”.Best of all, this novel demonstrates the incredible power that books have to change a person’s life, from having relatable characters, to teaching valuable lessons, and what happens when you try to hide information from the public. (There’s also a subtle commentary on how many school boards turn a blind eye to certain procedures when enough money is thrown at them.) Though many parents may have good intentions when they attempt to ban a book, the story makes it clear that no one person should get to decide what’s best for everyone. (And the narrative is careful to not paint the mother who started all this as an absolute monster, but as someone whose noble intentions spiraled out of control.) More importantly, this story not only shows how children are much smarter and more clever than adults give them credit for, but that only through the power of a community coming together can any positive change in the world truly happen.Along with the inclusion of books that were banned in real life, this novel stands as one of the great testaments as to why libraries are so important, and that some rules (especially the unjust ones) are meant to be broken. Definitely a must-read, for kids AND adults, and ironically, should become required reading in schools.

“Ban This Book” (2017) by Alan Gratz is about Amy Anne, a timid, quiet-as-a-mouse nine-year-old girl who goes to her elementary school library to check out her favorite book again and finds that it’s not on the shelf…not because someone else checked it out, but because it’s under consideration for being banned. The fictional story is about what she and her friends do because of several books being banned. Even though it is basically intended for young readers aged 8 to 12, this is a story for book lovers of any age! Very relevant today, I cannot recommend it enough!

This was an age-appropriate book geared towards school-aged kids which talks about banning books. It was really good! The main character’s personal growth throughout the book was meaningful and relatable (even for this almost 40-yr old reader). The books used are ones which have been banned at some point in the last 30 years. People need to have the conversation as to WHY banning a book seems to be the right thing to do and the impact it’ll have on generations of readers to come. Age-appropriateness is a valid point but also trusting in the wisdom of parents who are raising their kids. Librarians typically have highly educated people who love books and can appropriately recommend books for adults, kids, whole families to enjoy. Reading opens doors, puts word to emotions being felt, educates, entertains and facilitates conversations even if you have a different point of view/perspective.

There were a lot of things that I really enjoyed about this book. While I sometimes found that the dialogue seemed a bit lofty for the fourth-grade protagonist, I really appreciated that the adults in this book didn’t talk down to the kids or (for the most part) discourage them from standing up for what they believe in.

We live in Iowa where a book banning bill was passed. This book was perfect for my fourth grader who is upset about other parents removing books from her school library.

Amy Anne was surprised to see her favorite book disappear from the shelf in the library. She discovered the book was considered “inappropriate”, and so it removed. She tried to stop this without much success at the school board meeting. Afterwards, Amy Anne started an underground library, to lend out banned books to any lids who requested them. It was a fun book. Sad in some places but still fun. Recommended.

I lead six-week blocks of literature-oriented “classes” for people my age (I’m 81). My next group, held during Book Banning Week, will be focused on Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” followed by Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours.” It was just by luck that I heard about “Ban This Book” which, in my opinion, should be wonderful reading for adults as well as kids. Of course I love the irony that the author is demanding that the book be banned. It is told in first person by a sixth-grade girl and what she does, along with friends, when a Mrs. Spencer takes on the campaign to ban some of the most wonderful children’s/young adults’ books published during the past few decades.

Great book for a middle-grade read-aloud! Lots of opportunities for discussion about book choice and freedom to read.

En tiempos de censura una antiheroína saca su capa y decide ayudar a sus compañeros a leer libros prohibidos en su escuela.

Item arrived well-packed.

My 10-year-old daughter could hardly put this book down! She loved it so much. Now she wants to re-read “From the Mixed Up Files” and take a trip to the Metropolitan Museum! Yay!

Lectura obligada de instituto. En papelerías tardaba mucho en llegar. En Amazon 2 días. Tapa blanda. Buen precio.

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