Ban This Book by Alan Gratz was a fun surprise. As a teacher/librarian I should have been itching to read this book-focused Nutmeg nominee, but (embarrassingly) I held off thinking it might be dull. I was so wrong!
Amy Anne is completely distraught when a classmate’s parent overrides school board protocol to ban a number of books from the school library (including her absolute favorite book). Along with help from a couple friends, she starts the B.B.L.L. (banned book locker library). They secretly build a collection of banned books with phony book covers to check out to interested students. Her locker library is a hit, until the principal discovers it.
Amy Anne is suspended, but the whole experience helps her to find a voice to back up her beliefs/actions. Amy and her friends develop a plan to get the books (and the fired school librarian) back to where they belong. This book is full of well-developed characters, and Amy Anne is an amazing one. She is quietly witty and a great kid.
This book made me laugh out loud several times; it also made me angry and sympathetic. It’s about knowing when to speak up, friendship and giving people a chance. This is my favorite of this year’s Nutmeg nominees so far. Two more to go …