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Character Spotlight: Mrs. Opal Jones

By Oliver Perry, Read to Them staff

Hello everyone, and happy Monday. Today we start the second week of our read of Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. So far Amy Anne has accomplished some crazy feats. She has started the Banned Books Locker Library, where students from all over come to read “banned” books. One educator with a passion for reading, who believes in the power of stories, has been a huge inspiration to Amy Anne on this journey. It’s time to get to know..

Mrs. Opal Jones

Name: Mrs. Opal Jones, formerly named Opal Smith (referred to as Dr. Opal Jones by the school board)

Job: Shelbourne Elementary School Librarian

Friends and Family: Mrs. Jones has a husband, and is a friend to all students and people with a love for reading.

Looks: Mrs. Jones has short brown hair, rocks rhinestone granny glasses, and is always wearing polka dot dresses.

Personality: Mrs. Jones is incredibly kind and caring. She is a very good librarian (or, a library scientist). She is also very smart. She respects her students, even though they are young, and trusts them to make their own decisions. She believes in equality; she wants to make sure every student gets a chance to read whatever book they want to. Mrs. Jones is outspoken about her beliefs, and doesn’t back down from a challenge, and we love that about her.

Likes: Mrs. Jones loves reading. Mrs. Jones loves “intellectual freedom.” If she had it her way, her students would be able to choose what they want to read, even if they were challenging or had things in them that we disagreed with.

Dislikes: Mrs. Jones is not a fan of people trying to make decisions for others. In fact, she says, “Every parent has the right to decide what their child can and can’t read. What they cannot do is make that decision for everyone else.” (34)

Notable Quote: “It’s our job as educators to expose our children to as many different kind of books and as many different point of view as possible.” (33)

Mrs. Jones reminds us of how important librarians are to us. Like her, they all really truly care about us and the importance of reading. We are excited to see how this wonderful woman gets involved in the story of Amy Anne, her friends, and the Banned Books Escapade. Have something to say about the wonderful Mrs. Jones? Drop a line on your Flipgrid page. Until Wednesday’s post, stay safe, be kind, and happy reading.

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