Sunday, September 3, 2017

Pre-Publication Review: Ban This Book by Alan Gratz - 4.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 4:32 PM
Title: Ban This Book
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Author: Alan Gratz
Publisher: Starscape
Publication: September 5th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5

Can you imagine how different you would be if you never found your favorite book? I know I would be very different. Winnie the Pooh was my first favorite. Then I moved on to Matilda, which happens to be on the Banned Books list that is featured in Ban This Book. Without Matilda and her giving me hope that one day I would be okay, I would be a very different person. But I do wonder... what would my favorite book have been if I was never given the chance to read Matilda? 

The book starts out with out main character, Amy Anne, arriving to school with her best friend, Rebecca. Amy Anne just wants to go return her books to the school library so she can check out her favborite book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The library has a policy where you can only renew a book a few times before you have to return it and leave it on the shelf for 5 whole days before you can check it out again. This allows ti me for other students to decide if they want to check the book out. When Amy Anne gets there, her beloved book is missing. The librarian then tells her that the book has been banned from the school library because of a parent concern over the content. This leads Amy Anne to come up with an idea to keep the books in the school, just not in the library. 

I loved how ambitious Amy Anne was. She believed in something so strongly that she stood up for it. This nine year old girl managed to do something that adults can't even do. Banning books won't keep your children from learning to lie, cheat and steal but it will keep your children from learning what is right and wrong and forming their own opinions. I am so glad Amy Anne's parents raised and allowed her to form her own views. 

One thing that was very present in this book was the proof that Amy Anne knew right from wrong regardless of the Banned Books she has read. She was always saying how she would answer a question but she actually answered much different because she knew some of the things were wrong to say. But this was also a bad thing too because it lead to her not sticking up for herself sometimes. Let's just say, being the oldest child didn't turn out to be very fair for Amy Anne. 

This book made me feel so many things and made me think so many thoughts. I have read my entire life. From the time I could actually read until the day I die, I will always be a reader. The main argument of this book was that books can teach our children to lie, cheat and steal. To be honest, that's a bunch of crap. I was taught about lying and cheating and stealing because my PARENTS taught me NOT to do those things. Sure, I read about those situations all the time. But guess what? I didn't lie, cheat OR steal because of it. I actually think you harm your child more by not exposing them to the wrongs of the world. It's like building an immune system. Your child will be sickly if you don't allow them to go outside and eat dirt because their bodies won't build up intolerances to the bad things.

In the end, this was a cute middle grade read about a little girl sticking up for something she truly believes in. There were definitely some other underlying themes that weren't as prevalent but I will let you figure those out for yourself. I really do recommend this book to children and adults. Maybe it can help everyone learn something. This book is also a perfect example of kids being denied something but finding a way to do it anyway. 

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.


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