Property of the Rebel Librarian

Allison Varnes. Random House, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5247-7147-8
When 12-year-old June’s father finds a library book he deems inappropriate among her belongings, her protective parents go on a censoring rampage, taking away the book and auditing her personal library—even, eventually, rewriting the end to Old Yeller. Before she knows it, they’ve called a PTA meeting, removed books from the school library (“It’s called a book extraction,” her father says), and gotten the librarian suspended. When June discovers a Little Free Library along a new route to school, and other kids learn that she has access to books, June soon finds herself running an underground library. Her crush, Graham, has asked her out, but his participation in the censorship has her questioning their relationship, especially after she meets new book-loving friends. When a school witch hunt for anyone with banned books reveals June’s role, she must decide if she has the strength to fight for the right to read. Debut author Varnes’s painting of overbearing parents occasionally feels over the top (their book rewrites extend to pasting over fart jokes), but the farcical take also drives home important points about bureaucracy, oversight, and freedom. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 09/18/2018
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 288 pages - 978-1-5247-7148-5
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-5247-7150-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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