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The Power of Your Voice

By Oliver Perry, Read to Them staff

Happy Wednesday readers! We have reached the midway point of the final week of our read of Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. How are you feeling about the novel as we begin our last few days with it? Have you enjoyed the wild journey of Amy Anne and company? What has been your favorite moment? Your favorite character? What book of the Banned Book List would you most like to read? Drop your answers to these questions (and whatever is on your mind) on your Flipgrid page!

Today we wanted to talk about one of the main themes of Ban This Book. What is a theme, you may ask? Good question! A theme is the subject of a book; in other words, what the book is about. Now, we know this story is about books getting banned, but what is it really about? We think that one of the main themes in this great story is: The Power of Your Voice.

As we know, Amy Anne is quite a shy person. She often thinks of things she wants to say, but rarely says anything at all. And yet, the reserved, shy Amy Anne ends up making a big, big difference! She doesn’t like the fact that she can’t decide what she wants to read, and is angry with the way books are getting banned. So, what does she do? She uses the Power of Her Voice! She starts the Banned Book Library, and gets other students, teachers, her school, and others involved in a big way!

Perhaps you don’t like the way things are. Can you think of something you’d like to change? In your home? In school? Or can you think even bigger… Is there something about the world you’d like to change? You may think that changing the world is too big of a task to tackle. Well, you’d be surprised! Your voice (and yes I mean you reading this right now) is capable of accomplishing things beyond your imagination.

Sit down and talk with your grown ups about what you want to change around the house. Perhaps they’re willing to meet you halfway if you use your voice. Do the same with your teachers! A great way to use your voice is by writing a letter. Want to change something in your school? Write your principal a letter. You could even write a letter to your governor or other elected official to get stuff changed in your area! Don’t know how? Check out the template for letter writing below, and consult your grown ups or teachers for help!

template from

Remember: no matter how you choose to use your voice, always be respectful and kind. Treating others with respect goes a long, long way.

You can look back and check out our Friday Reconnect for Week 2 to discover some awesome ways to use your voice. Look for ideas to impact your community there, and share your own. Here were some of the ideas we came up with:

  • Finding the resources to create a community garden at your school

  • Creating a speech and gathering signatures with your classmates to ask your teacher for no homework on the weekends

  • Cleaning up the local community park

  • Organizing a community-wide event to gather together and support one another

However you choose to use the Power of Your Voice, we promise that it will be fun and rewarding. Be like Amy Anne: be the change you want to see in your school, your community, and the world! Enjoy your last few days of reading, friends, and as always, be safe, be kind, and keep reading.

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