At this month’s Board of Education meeting, the Board passed a first reading of approving a new award-winning book, Ban This Book, for the ELA curriculum. The Board will vote on the second and final approval at their next meeting.
The book is about a student who finds out that her favorite book was banned because a classmate’s mom thought the book wasn’t appropriate for kids to read. The student fought back by starting a secret banned book 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.
I decided to purchase a copy to read. Here are a few quotes:
“I was lucky. My parents would buy me any book I wanted if I asked them to. But not everybody's parents would do that. Not everybody's parents COULD do that. That's what libraries were for: to make sure that everybody had the same access to the same books everyone else did.”
“…once you ban one book, somebody, somewhere can find a reason to ban every book.” “The Lorax? That’s libelous. The Lorax portrays lumberjacks and the timber industry in a negative light.” “Goodnight Moon? The mouse in the room is a health-code violation, the red balloon is a choking hazard, and look at this picture of the illustrator on the back – he’s holding a cigarette! That encourages kindergarteners to think smoking is cool.”
“Nobody has the right to tell you what books you can and can’t read. Except your parents.”
The book also contains prereading and post reading questions, ready for classrooms. I believe it would be an excellent addition to the ELA curriculum. My copy of the book will now go to my children, who enjoy reading.
You can read about the book here: https://www.alangratz.com/writing/ban-this-book/. It is also available in the Wicomico County Public Library and three school libraries.