Monday, September 4, 2017

Blog Tour: Ban This Book by Alan Gratz ~Review + Giveaway~

Hi all!  Welcome to my stop on the Official Blog Tour for Ban This Book by Alan Gratz!  
See below for my review and a giveaway!

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz
Publication Date: August 29, 2017 by Starscape
Age Range: 8-12 years
Grade Level: 3-7
Hardcover: 256 pages

An inspiring tale of a fourth-grader who fights back when her favorite book is banned from the school library--by starting her own illegal locker library!

It all started the day Amy Anne Ollinger tried to check out her favorite book in the whole world, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, from the school library. That's when Mrs. Jones, the librarian, told her the bad news: her favorite book was banned! All because a classmate's mom thought the book wasn't appropriate for kids to read.

Amy Anne decides to fight back by starting a secret banned books 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.

Reminiscent of the classic novel Frindle by Andrew Clements for its inspiring message, Ban This Book is a love letter to the written word and its power to give kids a voice.

Praise for BAN THIS BOOK

“Readers, librarians, and all those books that have drawn a challenge have a brand new hero in Amy Anne Ollinger. She's a true champion and testament to how doing a good thing is the first step in finding your own courage."―Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winning author of The Underneath

"Ban This Book is absolutely brilliant and belongs on the shelves of every library in the multiverse."―Lauren Myracle, author of the best-selling Internet Girls series, the most challenged books of 2009 and 2011

"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." ―Publisher’s Weekly

Alan Gratz‘s first novel, Samurai Shortstop, was named one of the ALA’s 2007 Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults. His second novel, Something Rotten, was a 2008 ALA Quick Pick for Young Adult Readers, and was followed by a sequel, Something Wicked, in October 2008. His first middle grade novel, The Brooklyn Nine, was one of the ALA’s Top Ten Sports Books for Youth and Top Ten Historical Books for Youth, and his middle grade Holocaust novel Prisoner B-3087 was one of YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Readers and has won seven state awards. His latest novels are the YA thriller Code of Honor, a YALSA 2016 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and The Monster War, the third book in his middle grade steampunk League of Seven trilogy.
Alan’s short fiction has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, online at, and in the anthologies Half-Minute Horrors and Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction, which benefitted victims of the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.
As the first Artist in Residence at the American School in Japan in 2010, Alan spent six weeks teaching historical fiction-writing to middle school students in Tokyo, and he was the Thurber House Children’s Writer in Residence in 2011, living and writing in James Thurber’s attic for a month while working with young writers from all around the Columbus, Ohio area.
In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E’s City Confidential, Alan has taught catapult-building to middle-schoolers, written more than 6,000 radio commercials, sold other people’s books, lectured at a Czech university, and traveled the galaxy as a space ranger. (One of these, it should be pointed out, is not true.)
Alan was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the 1982 World’s Fair. After a carefree but humid childhood, Alan attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing, and, later, a Master’s degree in English education. He now lives with his wife Wendi and his daughter Jo in the high country of Western North Carolina, where he enjoys playing games, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, reading books.
               Photo Credit: Wes Stitt

Ban This Book was an enjoyable and inspiring read.  It's a story about finding the courage to speak up for yourself and taking a stand against the banning of books. This book was so interesting that I read it in one sitting (which almost never happens).

The story begins when Amy Anne Ollinger, a timid 4th grader, goes to borrow her favorite book from the school library but is told that the book has been banned, along with several other books.  She decides to form her own library of banned books, right out of her locker.  Soon, things get complicated and Amy Anne needs to decide whether to remain timid, or to speak up and fight against the book ban.  

I really loved the main character in this story.  Amy Anne Ollinger grows a lot throughout the book. She is very fearful at first, afraid to say what's really on her mind, but she later becomes a courageous person who is not afraid to speak up for herself.        
This story made me reminisce about being back in elementary school.  I remember I also had a love for reading back then and I was always visiting my school's library.  I'm not sure what I would have done if I was told my favorite book was banned from the library.  I probably would have been too timid to do anything.  I doubt I would have been as courageous as the characters in this book.  I definitely would not have been as strong as Amy Anne Ollinger.  

If you're looking for an enjoyable, engaging story, you should definitely read this book. It's an inspiring story with a powerful message and I definitely recommend it.

 (4.5/5 Stars)

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review.  Thanks to Tor and Jean Book Nerd.  All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

10 Winners will receive a Copy of BAN THIS BOOK by Alan Gratz

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  1. Yes! I've always thought the idea of banned books is ridiculous. One of my favorite books "The Chocolate Wars" was banned for some time I believe. Banned books tend to be the best in my opinion.