Celebrate the freedom to read with this timely, empowering middle-grade debut about a girl who fights back against banned books in the spirit of The View from Saturday or Frindle.
When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval.
But June can't give up books . . . and she realizes she doesn't have to when she spies a Little Free Library on her walk to school. As the rules become stricter at school and at home, June keeps turning the pages of the banned books that continue to appear in the little library. It's a delicious secret . . . and one she can't keep to herself. June starts a banned book library of her own in an abandoned locker at school. The risks grow alongside her library's popularity, and a movement begins at Dogwood Middle--a movement that, if exposed, could destroy her. But if it's powerful enough, maybe it can save Ms. Bradshaw and all that she represents: the freedom to read.
Equal parts fun and empowering, this novel explores censorship, freedom of speech, and activism. For any kid who doesn't believe one person can effect change...and for all the kids who already know they can!
September 3, 2019
Lexile: 560L | Fountas/Pinnell: W
Like librarian Ms. Bradshaw in Property of the Rebel Librarian,
Allison Varnes has fought for her students. She taught English in special education for eight years and once had to convince administrators that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
is not an endorsement of witchcraft. She's from a family of teachers and has a PhD in education from the University of Tennessee. And like heroine June, Allison is a former marching-band geek. When she's not writing, she howls along to the Hamilton
soundtrack with a trio of Chihuahuas named after Peanuts
characters. Find her on Twitter at @allisonvarnes or on Facebook at facebook.com/allisonvarnesauthor.
“In our censorious times, that battle and the extremes through which [the story] is depicted are enough to keep the pages turning. [But] it is the choices that June makes about her own life that give this novel its solidity and meaning.”—The New York Times Book Review
“This debut novel tackles the issue of censorship in a humorous and engaging way. June is a worthy and winsome heroine who is sure to charm. . . . This funny and fast read could be used to fuel discussions about book banning, censorship in general, and activism.”—School Library Journal
“[Varnes’s] take . . . drives home important points about bureaucracy, oversight, and freedom.”—Booklist
“An accessible introduction to the importance of the freedom to read.”—Kirkus Reviews