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Friday Reconnect: Week One

By Oliver Perry, Read to Them staff

Howdy friends! We hope everyone is doing well, and we hope your week was as wonderful as you are. Congratulations on finishing the first week of Ban This Book by Alan Gratz! What do you think so far? Amy Anne Ollinger is quite an interesting character. Put yourself in her shoes: can you imagine your favorite book being banned? Or one of your other favorite things, like a video game, a TV show, or even recess? What would you do? How would you feel?

After putting yourself in Amy Anne’s shoes, now try jumping into Mrs. Sarah Spencer and the school board’s shoes with this week’s activity. It is now time to make your own Banned Book List! You have the power in this activity: compile a list of books you would ban. Make sure to make up a set of rules for how each book makes your list, and explain in a sentence or two why you ban each book. You don’t need to limit your list to individual books though, you can ban genres and topics, and if you’re more familiar, make a list of banned movies, TV shows, video games, or whatever you’d like!

Now that you’ve considered Amy Anne’s point of view, the PTA’s point of view, it’s time to consider your point of view with these discussion questions:

  • Write a few sentences defending your favorite book, movie, or TV show as if someone wanted to ban it.

  • Amy Anne stays after school to read in the library. Write about any clubs or after-school activities you stay after for. What is the best part about your club? If you don’t stay after for anything, what club interests you the most and why? If there isn’t one, come up with one!

  • Amy Anne’s house is full of characters: Mom, Dad, her two sisters, and her two (huge) dogs! Write a few sentences about what your house looks like. Who do you live with? Who are they like? Any pets? Is it crazy all the time like Amy Anne’s, or peaceful like a library? Somewhere in between? Write about it!

  • Mrs. Spencer is a library scientist. What do you think this means? Did you know people could be doctors and scientists in all different types of fields? What kind of scientist would you be? A cartoon scientist? A recess scientist? Come up with a new kind of scientist, and write what you would do in that job.

  • If you were to speak at a conference in front of the school board, what would you speak about? Is there anything you would change in the school? Any new rules you would come up with? Would you want to add any books to the library? Take this opportunity to write a script, like Amy Anne’s, to the school board with anything you would change in your school.

Thanks so much for reading along with us for the first week of Ban This Book. We look forward to the next two weeks with you all, as we figure out how Amy Anne will get out of this sticky situation. Until next week make sure to relax, enjoy your weekend, and be kind.

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