Property of the Rebel Librarian
When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval. But June can't give up books . . . and she realizes she doesn't have to when she spies a Little Free Library on her walk to school. As the rules become stricter at school and at home, June keeps turning the pages of the banned books that continue to appear in the little library. It's a delicious secret . . . and one she can't keep to herself. June starts a banned book library of her own in an abandoned locker at school. The risks grow alongside her library's popularity, and a movement begins at Dogwood Middle--a movement that, if exposed, could destroy her. But if it's powerful enough, maybe it can save Ms. Bradshaw and all that she represents: the freedom to read.Equal parts fun and empowering, this novel explores censorship, freedom of speech, and activism. For any kid who doesn’t believe one person can effect change…and for all the kids who already know they can!

Property of the Rebel Librarian Details

TitleProperty of the Rebel Librarian
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 18th, 2018
PublisherRandom House Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781524771478
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Writing, Books About Books, Contemporary

Property of the Rebel Librarian Review

  • Donalyn
    January 1, 1970
    Lots of references to classic and contemporary children's books and a pro-reading, pro-library message.
  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    If you are a book lover you have to read this book!!!Interest Level: 3-6What if someone told you what you could and couldn't read? Would that be fair?What if you got in major trouble for even having a book that was not endorsed by the school? Would that be fair either? The answer to both of those questions is NO! Well, this is exactly what is happening to June Harper. When she checks out a book from her school library that her parents deem inappropriate, it starts a snowball effect of bad things If you are a book lover you have to read this book!!!​Interest Level: 3-6What if someone told you what you could and couldn't read? Would that be fair?What if you got in major trouble for even having a book that was not endorsed by the school? Would that be fair either? The answer to both of those questions is NO! Well, this is exactly what is happening to June Harper. When she checks out a book from her school library that her parents deem inappropriate, it starts a snowball effect of bad things. First, an amazing librarian is put on administrative leave; second, a majority of library books were hauled out of the school library; and third, kids are getting suspended for even having an unapproved book in their possession. When June's parents take away ALL of her person books, she is left with only one book that she is forced to hide. Then June comes across a a small house on top of a wooden post that says it is a Little Free Library. June is ecstatic when she finds a book in there. Little does she know that when she takes that book (and many more) that she will break all the rules to defend the rite to read. Not only is she dealing with all of this, she is also dealing with middle school problems like best friends and boys. Will Ms. Bradshaw, the school librarian, get her job back? Will June get her first boyfriend, even at the expense of her best friend? Most importantly, will June be able to make a difference with her parents, the school system, and the PTSA? Will books still be banned or will June and all of the other students be able to read what they want? This is a must read!!I have mentioned several times in my blogs that I am a fairly slow reader. Normally it would take me several days to read a 275 page book. Not this book!! I read this book in just a few hours. Once I started I could not put it down. I don't know if it's because it's such a fantastic book or if it's because this subject is a subject that I am passionate about. Kids should have the right to read what they want and just because you and I may not like a book does not give us the right to judge it. I was so proud of June and how she took a stand for the right to read even when it went against her "good girl" persona. If you are a book lover this book is a must read!!Follow me:Blog - Blazer Tales - https://blazertales.weebly.com/Facebook - Laurie’s Library Place - https://www.facebook.com/LauriesLibra...Instagram - laurieslibrary - https://www.instagram.com/laurieslibr...Twitter - https://twitter.com/lauriepurser27Goodreads - Laurie Purser - https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1...Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/auburngirl2...
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    "When in doubt, go to the library." And if you don't have access to a rich and exciting library collection, do what June Harper does -- build your own! June has always loved books, but when the adults in her life try to restrict her access to them, they become even more precious (and powerful). Packed with *kid power* and super fun references to books middle grade readers know and love (or will want to get to know!) parts of this story actually had me cheering out loud. Fast paced, full of twist "When in doubt, go to the library." And if you don't have access to a rich and exciting library collection, do what June Harper does -- build your own! June has always loved books, but when the adults in her life try to restrict her access to them, they become even more precious (and powerful). Packed with *kid power* and super fun references to books middle grade readers know and love (or will want to get to know!) parts of this story actually had me cheering out loud. Fast paced, full of twists, lots of opportunity for discussion -- I predict this book will be topping a lot of library piles!
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  • Tara Gilboy
    January 1, 1970
    I finished this book in one sitting, staying up until one in the morning to do so. It’s a book about books! And banned ones! I was hooked! I love the way Varnes did such a great job capturing the point of view of a middle school girl, especially one with such controlling parents. She is frustrated, seeks their approval, is embarrassed by their actions, but loves them too…. They make a lot of parenting mistakes, but Varnes is careful to paint them carefully, taking care not to villainize them. Th I finished this book in one sitting, staying up until one in the morning to do so. It’s a book about books! And banned ones! I was hooked! I love the way Varnes did such a great job capturing the point of view of a middle school girl, especially one with such controlling parents. She is frustrated, seeks their approval, is embarrassed by their actions, but loves them too…. They make a lot of parenting mistakes, but Varnes is careful to paint them carefully, taking care not to villainize them. This book made me remember what it feels like to be twelve. June captured my heart.
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  • Jenny Chou
    January 1, 1970
    When June's parents find her reading a book about witches, they suddenly go to extremes to control her reading choices. Her dad is on the PTA, and he leads the charge to suspend the school librarian and clean the school library of any book that could be harmful to a child (or cause them to actually THINK). Even the books in June's own bookcase get a parental make-over. Pages are ripped out and notecards replace endings. (Old Yeller lives happily ever after.) Middle grade readers will connect wit When June's parents find her reading a book about witches, they suddenly go to extremes to control her reading choices. Her dad is on the PTA, and he leads the charge to suspend the school librarian and clean the school library of any book that could be harmful to a child (or cause them to actually THINK). Even the books in June's own bookcase get a parental make-over. Pages are ripped out and notecards replace endings. (Old Yeller lives happily ever after.) Middle grade readers will connect with June's voice. She's smart and funny - the well-behaved child who never causes trouble who suddenly finds herself running an illicit library out of an empty locker and supplying banned books to her middle school classmates. In the back of the book is a list of books that have been banned or challenged. Students will enjoy looking it over to see what they've read! PROPERTY OF THE REBEL LIBRARIAN is a must-read for Banned Books Week and will make a great centerpiece for a school library display.
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  • Theresa Grissom
    January 1, 1970
    I am so grateful that I got to read an ARC of this book! I absolutely loved everything about Rebel Librarian! This was an easy read and I was hooked from the beginning. I can't wait to get copies for my library and share this with students.Awesome job, Allison Varnes!
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  • Anne O'Brien Carelli
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an ARC to review and had no idea what to expect. What a wonderful story! It explores sensitive topics like censorship and activism with a fast-moving, always entertaining plot. The MC June is respectful and feisty at the same time, and has to figure out how to navigate her love for reading and the topic of banned books. I loved the way the author was able to take a heavy subject and make it realistic and appealing for middle grade students. This book will not only inform readers, but I was given an ARC to review and had no idea what to expect. What a wonderful story! It explores sensitive topics like censorship and activism with a fast-moving, always entertaining plot. The MC June is respectful and feisty at the same time, and has to figure out how to navigate her love for reading and the topic of banned books. I loved the way the author was able to take a heavy subject and make it realistic and appealing for middle grade students. This book will not only inform readers, but I'm sure there are many MG students who will personally understand June's frustration when her reading list is limited. This should be in every library as an open door for discussion. Highly recommended.
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    This was so good. I was afraid it would be like Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, but it really was not. When June’s parents find a book librarian gave her to read, they take it and all her personal books away and begin a crusade to censor books at her middle school. I loved all the titles included and the many great quotes contained within. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my review.
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  • Karis
    January 1, 1970
    Read this book! Then tell every librarian, teacher, child, and parent you know to Read This Book!The story isn't a new one, but the message is vital: the rule-following good girl becomes a rebel when she experiences censorship that she believes is unfair and unacceptable. The parents in this book were pretty horrible and extreme, but there are people like them in our world who try to control not just what their own kids think and read, but what every child in a school or library district is allo Read this book! Then tell every librarian, teacher, child, and parent you know to Read This Book!The story isn't a new one, but the message is vital: the rule-following good girl becomes a rebel when she experiences censorship that she believes is unfair and unacceptable. The parents in this book were pretty horrible and extreme, but there are people like them in our world who try to control not just what their own kids think and read, but what every child in a school or library district is allowed to think and read.Thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this ARC and for promoting the freedom to read by publishing this book.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    As soon as I saw "Rebel Librarian" in the title, I knew I had to read this and it did not disappoint! This book made me angry, happy, sad, and hopeful. I felt like I was back in history with the book banning on a massive level, but sadly these are the mindset of many people today. I was glad that the ending didn't wrap everything up in a nice bow, but left the readers hopeful that some changes will be made. This book will open up a great discussion with children who read it. I kind of want there As soon as I saw "Rebel Librarian" in the title, I knew I had to read this and it did not disappoint! This book made me angry, happy, sad, and hopeful. I felt like I was back in history with the book banning on a massive level, but sadly these are the mindset of many people today. I was glad that the ending didn't wrap everything up in a nice bow, but left the readers hopeful that some changes will be made. This book will open up a great discussion with children who read it. I kind of want there to be a sequel, so I can see what June is up to next, but at the same time, I felt that the whole story was told and there isn't a need for a sequel. Great job to the author and I look forward to reading more by her!
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  • Lizanne Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Intermediate, middle gradeThis book made me so mad! How could adults stand by and allow books to be banned? I was so emotionally involved in this book! June Harper is a middle schooler with a positive relationship with books and her school librarian. June's parents decide that some of the books she is reading are inappropriate. New and old books are removed from the school library. The librarian is fired. The library closes. What will June do without her books? What will the rest of the students Intermediate, middle gradeThis book made me so mad! How could adults stand by and allow books to be banned? I was so emotionally involved in this book! June Harper is a middle schooler with a positive relationship with books and her school librarian. June's parents decide that some of the books she is reading are inappropriate. New and old books are removed from the school library. The librarian is fired. The library closes. What will June do without her books? What will the rest of the students do? June becomes the rebel librarian, providing books undercover to the other students. Will she get caught? I have already preordered this title for my middle school library. I can't wait to promote it!
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  • Lisa Lewis
    January 1, 1970
    Property of the Rebel Librarian was a fantastic read! I enjoyed reading how June took matters into her own hands when she was not allowed to read books of her choice. So many great books are mentioned as are Little Free Libraries. I read an ARC of this book in return for my honest review.#collabookation
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  • Melanie Sumrow
    January 1, 1970
    This book does a great job of introducing the topic of book censorship in a thoughtful way. I was rooting for June from the very beginning! The story is quick-paced, and it will be a great springboard for thought-provoking discussions among students.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Oh, man. I don't think I've ever walked away from a book SO ANGRY! I've always heard about those types of parents that are really strict about what their kids can/can't read, but its never gone further than "don't bring those books in my house" type situations. This book takes it a step further with June's mom complaining to the principal about her daughters book being "too scary" and having an unsavory topic such as witchcraft in it. All of this complaining winds up with the school librarian fi Oh, man. I don't think I've ever walked away from a book SO ANGRY! I've always heard about those types of parents that are really strict about what their kids can/can't read, but its never gone further than "don't bring those books in my house" type situations. This book takes it a step further with June's mom complaining to the principal about her daughters book being "too scary" and having an unsavory topic such as witchcraft in it. All of this complaining winds up with the school librarian fired, the school board taking away any and all books with unsavory topics including, but not limited to, witchcraft, paranormal, and childhood rebellions. To make matters even worse June's parents take her own personal library books away until they can read every. single. one. of. them. What starts out as a tiny act of rebellion leads to a full scale war on the school board and parents. That's pretty much all I can say without getting spoilery, and boy do I want to rant and bitch. Sorry guys. (view spoiler)[I don't even know if I can accurately describe how angry the school board, and June's parents and friends have left me feeling as a result of reading this book. I think I'll start with June's parents.These stinkers take her personal collection - OF BOOKS SHE'S ALREADY READ, and tell her she can't have them back until they read them and approve them. Around 58% they return the books, and the reader is left feeling happy that her parents at least approve of her favorites. BUT NOPE! They decided to RIP OUT pages, black out lines, and even resort to GLUING note cards over existing text to change the entire freaking story line. *sigh* I just... I can't. Her parents maintain the attitude that June is essentially a criminal for having read such appalling literature, and go even further to make her feel like poop when they find out that she is the Rebel Librarian and tell her she must apologize to the whole community for doing something so wrong. Every time June listened to her parents I wanted to scream. There is nothing worse than preventing a young mind from exploring, learning and reading. Even if you deem those topics unsavory to YOU. You do not get to decide what is good for others, and it was beyond frustrating to see innocuous books get the boot from their library for the most dumb things. When June FINALLY took a stand in the end and told the school board, and her parents what for I was hooping and hollering internally. June is a character after my own heart - except that I would have given my parents what for A LONG time ago, and most certainly would not have taken their punishments lying down. ____Graham. Hoo boy. Talk about a controlling piece of dirt, and at only 13. He quickly takes on a sort of parental role over June and attempts to tell her what she can and can't do in order to be his "girlfriend" while essentially cheating (or the 13 year old version of it) on her with her best friend. Who also decides to ditch her during this whole thing. June finally stands up to Graham and tells him to shove off. Books are far more important than he is. Again, a girl after my own heart here. _____The school board winds up firing the librarian for daring *gasp* to provide such illicit materials to children, even after the media coverage and backlash; which saddened me quite a lot. I was hoping that they would be forced to take her back on due to a violation in the law. She was a dear sweet woman, and I hated that she got so little page time. I absolutely adored the fact that June spoke up about wanting to become a librarian when she was older and defying her parents demands that she go to medical school later. (hide spoiler)]In the end, this book was absolutely fantastic. I recommend it to anyone and everyone who firmly believes that no one of any age should be limited in what they can read. The world is boundless where reading is concerned. So many new worlds and characters to expand your imagination. It's a place to fall in love over and over, a place to hide from everything that seems wrong in your life; a light in your darkness.
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  • B.A. Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    This is a great homage to reading, books, librarians, and the freedom to read. My librarian heart just loves the message of this story. This would be a great book for group discussion at schools and libraries, since it opens up the topics of censorship and right to read, which can be major issues, especially for middle school libraries in small or rural areas. As a band geek, and also having a degree in music, I really loved all the band moments in this story. It almost feels like this story was This is a great homage to reading, books, librarians, and the freedom to read. My librarian heart just loves the message of this story. This would be a great book for group discussion at schools and libraries, since it opens up the topics of censorship and right to read, which can be major issues, especially for middle school libraries in small or rural areas. As a band geek, and also having a degree in music, I really loved all the band moments in this story. It almost feels like this story was written just for me, to align with all my loves, interests, and career paths, so that’s super fun but obviously won’t apply to all of you. Having taught middle school for 6 years, the voice was off for me and felt much more YA than MG. The dialogue is also very mature and contained none of the uncertainty or social awkwardness of middle school interactions, which is something I happen to love about that age level. That being said, I think my 6th graders would have loved this story, because most middle grade readers like to read up. They love to read about characters who are older and more mature. They also love to read about characters who are confident and brave, which June definitely is. I suspect this book will fly off the library shelves. There are some situations that are a bit extreme, so you do have to be willing to suspend disbelief a few times. For example, (view spoiler)[what happens with so many of the books in the school library being boxed up and hauled out is pretty extreme, and most libraries and schools, even those in small and rural areas in the midwest (which is where I worked for 6 years), have policies and procedures in place for dealing with challenges to materials and censorship issues. Also, most administrators and school staff are well-educated and trained in how to handle matters such as this. I did deal with some wild behaviors from parents, as a middle school librarian in a very conservative town, and there are some towns that do seem to employ administrators and staff who make poor choices in challenge situations, as we see it in the news from time to time. However, the level this went to before it got national media coverage shocked me. With such a well-trained librarian, her first call would have been to her library association, who would have loudly supported and backed her up at a statewide level. Then her next call probably would have been to her teaching association, who would have challenged the legality of the suspension and protected her legal rights. ALA would have received notice right away, either from the school librarian, or a library friend, and they likely would have investigated and added legal support, in addition to potentially calling in the ACLU for help and media coverage. One thing library folk do well is stand out against censorship and stand up for the right to read, and this school had an amazing librarian. In a real life situation, she would have taken action, as that is what would have been in the best interests of her learning community. Now, the reality of the situation is, that while most librarians and educators would know these things, most students aren’t going to, so it won’t interrupt their enjoyment of the story. Honestly, it was something I tried to look past, because the extreme nature of this situation, though unlikely, really helped along the plot and theme of the story. And the reality is that most actual book challenges are very boring and not worth writing a story about, so I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read the book had it followed what is realistic in a situation like this. (hide spoiler)]Overall, this is an excellent, heartfelt story about the power and value of reading, and I truly enjoyed it. The fact that the voice is more YA might even be in this book’s favor, as it’s going to increase the appeal of the novel to some adult readers who tend to like YA but sometimes struggle with MG stories. Also, the audiobook narration is excellent, and this would be a great book to listen to and discuss on a family road trip. If you have children, you should totally do that. This directive is middle school teacher, library media specialist, and band queen approved. You’re very welcome. ;) Book 327 read in 2018Pages: 256
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  • Chris
    January 1, 1970
    June Harper loves reading, and she’s constantly grabbing book recommendations from her school librarian, Ms. Bradshaw. However, when her overprotective parents find a book they claim contains inappropriate content, they take drastic steps to curtain her reading. Not only is her personal collection confiscated, but Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, the school library is weeded for content, and students can only read pre-approved materials.For June, the restrictions are impossible. But after spotting a L June Harper loves reading, and she’s constantly grabbing book recommendations from her school librarian, Ms. Bradshaw. However, when her overprotective parents find a book they claim contains inappropriate content, they take drastic steps to curtain her reading. Not only is her personal collection confiscated, but Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, the school library is weeded for content, and students can only read pre-approved materials.For June, the restrictions are impossible. But after spotting a Little Free Library on her way to school, she hatches a plan to create her own library and soon realizes she’s not the only one who covets the freedom to read.Author Allison Varnes deserves all the praise she can get for delivering such a solid piece of fiction that examines intellectual freedom and activism. Central to this success is the character of June Harper, who Varnes paints as such a wonderfully likable character. At first, she’s a kid who doesn’t want to cause disruptions, though she grows into leading a movement. She’s smart, funny, incredibly charming, and, I believe, highly relatable. Relatability is important because June really grounds the story. The sections dealing with the school administration and parents might sound melodramatic if June wasn’t leading the action. That’s not to suggest the other characters aren’t believable. They are. I can completely picture overprotective parents editing texts for their children and ousting librarians who don’t conform to their agendas. As extreme people, in turn, they feel like extreme characters. But June pulls all the focus as she maneuvers all the issues of middle school, including relationships, while also tackling censorship.The story itself could easily fall into preachy category in lesser hands, but here it feels more like a full story mixed with a celebration of books. June’s actions are complicated and there’s obvious inner turmoil. She struggles with disobeying her parents while relishing in her role as the rebel librarian. It’s compelling. For the best example of how gifted Varnes is as a storyteller, focus on the ending. Without going into spoiler territory, it is a beautiful blend of catharsis capped with the realism of activism.Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.
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  • KWinks
    January 1, 1970
    I often think to myself, it's 2018 why are people still banning and challenging books?It's never made sense to me, actually. This book does not shed a light on that part of the issue at all. In fact, I think June's parents are barely a step above Matilda's. They are cruel- all in the name of raising their child in the "right" way. It's not just books, btw. They eat giant bowls of ice cream in front of her too. Overall it's a great story. I wanted to get back to it right away, I cared about June' I often think to myself, it's 2018 why are people still banning and challenging books?It's never made sense to me, actually. This book does not shed a light on that part of the issue at all. In fact, I think June's parents are barely a step above Matilda's. They are cruel- all in the name of raising their child in the "right" way. It's not just books, btw. They eat giant bowls of ice cream in front of her too. Overall it's a great story. I wanted to get back to it right away, I cared about June's plight. It has some issues. The characters are one dimensional stereotypes, the "love interest" is ridiculously perfect, and no one comes to the defense of these kids until it's too late. Fear of repercussion for not following the status quo IS covered here. Vanes did that well. I also want to point out a very important scene:Graham tries to manipulate June into following the rules, offering a relationship with himself as a carrot. And June barely blinks as she openly chooses books over Graham. I mean, she can see she's being gaslighted. She ends it immediately. Well done for a 13 year old!I want other readers to read that scene and handle a-holes who do that in the exact same manner. Honestly, this is worth reading just for that one bit alone.I also loved seeing the titles of some many other books get mentioned (I wrote them down! I'm mad that I have read as few of them as I have!) Shout out to Bob! I loved that book! I'm also highly tempted to put a Free Little Library out front of my house now.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I had high hopes for this one. Sadly, I was rather disappointed. The premise was promising; June, a seventh-grade girl rebels when her both parents and the school she attends embark on a book censorship program. However, the degree of their censorship was so extreme as to not be believable. While I do realize that was, perhaps, the point (a little junior Fahrenheit 451?) I personally need a book to be believable in order for me to buy into the story. It is difficult to imagine a librarian being I had high hopes for this one. Sadly, I was rather disappointed. The premise was promising; June, a seventh-grade girl rebels when her both parents and the school she attends embark on a book censorship program. However, the degree of their censorship was so extreme as to not be believable. While I do realize that was, perhaps, the point (a little junior Fahrenheit 451?) I personally need a book to be believable in order for me to buy into the story. It is difficult to imagine a librarian being laid off for providing students with books you are sure to find in most any public school library in America. Neither could I buy her parents taking away every single book she owned and insisting on reading them before returning them to her bookshelves. (Had they not read any of them before? Really? Not a single one?) When the books are returned they have been "edited" entire pages ripped out and endings rewritten. Anne Shirley serves bosom buddy Diana grape juice instead of raspberry cordial. Old Yeller lives happily ever after, he is not shot when he becomes rabid. (This one I could see the left doing because of the mention of a shotgun.)Furthermore, the dialogue between young June and her love interest are too good. No one is that clever of a flirt, certainly not a pubescent girl with no previous dating experience. It must be nice to have someone tell you what to say to the boy you pine after. (Cyrano de Bergerac?)On the positive side, this does serve as a testament to the power of literature. Unfortunately, it is poorly executed due to its lack of believability. I wish teenagers would go to such lengths in order to read but most are too busy with their electronic devices.
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  • WKPL Children's/YA Books
    January 1, 1970
    Miss Jen absolutely loved this book! There is a little rebel inside all of us, even those that usually follow all the rules! Perfect for 4th-7th grade.
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    First sentence: You're going to read a lot about me and the things I've done. Most of it's true. I can't help that, not that I'd want to. I would do the exact same thing all over again if I had the chance.Premise/plot: June Harper loves, loves, loves to read, but when her parents catch her reading her latest check out from the school library, The Makings of a Witch, her worst nightmare begins. What is her worst nightmare? It's not that she's grounded, though that does happen a lot in this one. N First sentence: You're going to read a lot about me and the things I've done. Most of it's true. I can't help that, not that I'd want to. I would do the exact same thing all over again if I had the chance.Premise/plot: June Harper loves, loves, loves to read, but when her parents catch her reading her latest check out from the school library, The Makings of a Witch, her worst nightmare begins. What is her worst nightmare? It's not that she's grounded, though that does happen a lot in this one. No, it's the fact that her parents strip her room of every single book, and not satisfied with that proceed to strip the school library of every single book as well.June Harper a book glutton finds herself cut off from every source. But that won't stay the case. She discovers a free little library on her walk to school. She takes books...and shares them with other students. Thus becoming the REBEL LIBRARIAN.My thoughts: I think a perfect ending for Property of the Rebel Librarian would have been her sitting with her parents at breakfast and saying I HAD THE CRAZIEST DREAM LAST NIGHT AND YOU BOTH WERE IN IT! IT WAS THE WEIRDEST THING. ALL BOOKS BECAME BANNED OVERNIGHT AND READING BECAME A CRIMINAL OFFENSE. IT WAS SO SCARY AND I COULDN'T FORCE MYSELF TO WAKE UP! THE WORST PART OF THE DREAM IS WHEN YOU RIPPED OUT PAGES FROM MY BOOKS.It had all the makings of a great TWILIGHT ZONE episode. It was an eery alternate reality.Unfortunately, that's not the ending. June Harper's reality is supposed to be believable to readers. It wasn't. Not even slightly. Her parents weren't just following their own convictions and practicing their parental rights. They were EVIL. And they were good at it--surprisingly good at it. Somehow convincing the principal, the school board, the PTA, the rest of the staff, and a good percentage of the student body that BOOKS WERE BAD and that the LIBRARY needed to be closed indefinitely because it was SUPER-DANGEROUS. No one apparently argued against June's parents. They were powerfully persuasive it seems! The whole community was united in a goal to make sure that their kids never opened a book unless it was a textbook.A more thoughtful, more complex approach to the topic would have been a welcome read. Do people find books offensive at times? Yes. From all walks of life. Liberals. Conservatives. Atheists. Christians. Every shade of person in between. Though it may be tempting to paint one stereotype of a "book banner" lunatic, it wouldn't be fair or realistic. There is also a HUGE difference in my opinion between a book being assigned reading within a classroom AND a book being available--on the shelf--in the school library. On the one hand, every student would have to read a book, and on the other hand any book read would be completely voluntary. Some books circulate a lot. Some books not at all.June's parents are generically opposed to books; if there's an inner motivation behind their objection readers remain clueless. They seek the removal of EVERY SINGLE BOOK in the school library so that the books can be evaluated for content. No profanity, no drugs, no violence, no rock/rap music, no witchcraft, no drinking, no smoking, no rebellion of any kind. The list is generic but incomplete. Did you notice what isn't included? Sex or sexuality. It seems odd that these two would have a vendetta against rock or rap music but be okay with the other. And they're not consistently strict. They care what June READS but not what she watches on TV.The book also fails to be believable in another way. There seems to be no standards, guidelines, rules and procedures in place to deal with conflict and challenges. I'd be surprised at a library not having a collection development policy. And the school and school board should have clear, written-down procedures in place for what happens when a parent--or concerned citizen--objects to a book either a) in the school library in general b) in the classroom as an assigned reading. It is plausible that a parent could object to ONE book being in the library collection and have it successfully removed. At least temporarily removed until the conflict can be resolved and the book reevaluated. But the idea that a parent could have every single library book removed from the library altogether and have the books boxed up and shipped out is beyond ridiculous.A book written that thoughtfully reflects a child's struggle in a difficult position would have been a great addition. A child who loves, loves, loves to read and welcomes words like she does oxygen. A child who loves her parents BUT doesn't understand their rules. There is no genuine struggle for June. Her parents are presented as that extremely evil. You might as well hang a sign over their front door saying ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from Edelweiss PlusWhen June's parents catch her reading a book of which they disapprove, The Makings of a Witch, they not only take it away from her, but her mother returns it to the school library herself. It's great that her parents are very involved in the school, but not so great that in the wake of her mother's visit, the school librarian, Ms. Bradshaw, is escorted out of the building by the police and the library is closed for a bit. It's even worse when she finds out that her paren E ARC from Edelweiss PlusWhen June's parents catch her reading a book of which they disapprove, The Makings of a Witch, they not only take it away from her, but her mother returns it to the school library herself. It's great that her parents are very involved in the school, but not so great that in the wake of her mother's visit, the school librarian, Ms. Bradshaw, is escorted out of the building by the police and the library is closed for a bit. It's even worse when she finds out that her parents are performing (with the principal's okay) a "book extraction" and removing any books that have any kind of material that could be considered at all objectionable by anybody. This doesn't leave many books left, and the library is reopened with a temporary librarian who spends her lunches talking with her mother on the phone. In order to keep herself in books, June starts borrowing them from a Little Free Library she passes on her way to school, many of which have very personal inscriptions "To Brendan" in them. When other students need books, they also come to June, and soon she has a small collection in an unassigned locker with a log cleverly labeled Property of the Rebel Librarian with all loans being kept in code. There is an interesting romance as well, with June being interested in Graham until she finds out more about his politics, and then she is more interested in another boy who is more helpful to her cause. June doesn't feel great about all of this subterfuge, but she also really misses Ms. Bradshaw, and is gratified that reading has become a bit more cool since it is banned. Eventually, there is some media attention that brings everything to a head.Strengths: June is an interesting character who has to put up with really unfortunate parents. The trajectory of the romances is interesting. The variety of books discussed, and the growing culture of reading in the school will make librarians cheer. I liked all of the supporting characters, such as the older sister and the classmates, and of course hated the parents, principal, and board members!Weaknesses: I had trouble believing that the principal and school board would be able to remove the librarian, close the library, and eventually let the teacher go. The author seems to hale from the Tennessee area, so perhaps the teacher contracts are much, much different. It also seems odd to me that parents would be able to remove books; schools usually have a policy and procedure to address the issue of banning books. Again, this may be different in other areas, but since I could not imagine such events occurring, it made it really hard for me to get into the book. What I really think: Even though I like Alan Gratz's Ban This Book, it has not circulated very well at all, perhaps because my students can pretty much get any book they want. This book is so similar that I don't need to buy it.
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  • Aeicha
    January 1, 1970
    When seventh-grader June Harper’s parents decide her latest reading material is too inappropriate for her, they cause a chain reaction of events, from the firing of June’s beloved librarian to the removal of almost all the books in the Dogwood Middle’s library, to the new strict rules regarding what students can and cannot read. Devastated by and fed up with the new rules, June soon starts an underground library at her school, using an empty locker to trade the bookish goods. If discovered, June When seventh-grader June Harper’s parents decide her latest reading material is too inappropriate for her, they cause a chain reaction of events, from the firing of June’s beloved librarian to the removal of almost all the books in the Dogwood Middle’s library, to the new strict rules regarding what students can and cannot read. Devastated by and fed up with the new rules, June soon starts an underground library at her school, using an empty locker to trade the bookish goods. If discovered, June could lose everything and she must decide if the movement she’s begun is worth the consequences. Oh y’all, I’m so conflicted when it comes to Allison Varnes’ middle-grade, Property of the Rebel Librarian. With a premise with so much potential and power I wanted to love this book, but unfortunately, I found it disappointing. I always like to start with the positives and Property of the Rebel Librarian certainly has those. The premise and message about censorship, the power and importance of books, and staying true to one’s self, are awesome, timely, relevant, and important and I applaud the author for tackling them. The heroine, June Harper, is, for the most part, an admirable, relatable, and likable main character who has some real character development and growth. My main issue with Property of the Rebel Librarian is how unbelievable the whole thing feels. June’s whole world feels so contrived and paper thin. First, the characters, which are lacking when it comes to diversity, feel like they were all written to fit come cliched stereotypical boxes: mean girl? Check. ultra hip girl in nineties band t-shirts? Check. swoon-worthy, dreamy, effortlessly cool boy who always knows what to say? Check. average, girl next door girl who has multiple boys fawning over her? Check. Young readers are going to see right through these characters and think middle-schoolers don’t sound, act, or think like this. If this were set in some kind of Stepford Wives- Fahrenheit 451 dystopian then the extremes it goes to when it comes to the censorship, book banning, and jumping on the bandwagon would make sense, but it’s not and it doesn’t. The extremes that June’s parents, the principle, the PTSA, and school go to and the extreme lack of questioning by anyone are so extreme it’s actually ridiculous. And again, young readers, who are so smart, are going to realize this. And then there’s June’s parents and oh boy are they awful. Like, they come across as truly awful, lacking in any sense kind of people...and they are NOT supposed to be seen that way. I truly believe they’re meant to come across as loving parents who are trying to do what’s best for their daughter, but just make some mistakes. But y’all, they take June’s books and edit out any of the deemed “inappropriate” stuff ...they rewrote the ending of Old Yeller and edit Anne of Green Gables. Anne of freaking Green Gables?! They are so controlling of June and her older sister (who is in college) that they feel like they can tell their girls what they can and can’t study or major in. And June can’t read Harry Potter or watch the movies, but she can read The Crucible and watch Jaws? How does that make any sense?! June and her sister are absolutely terrified of making mistakes and disappointing their parents. This is NOT a healthy parent-child relationship, but it’s treated as if it is. Again, this premise and the book’s message or so great, but the execution and delivery are severely lacking. I don’t ever want to discourage a kid from reading a book and I think there are younger readers who will like Property of the Rebel Librarian, but overall, there are SO many other wonderful middle-grade books out there that I would put in their hands first.
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Oh, this warmed my librarian heart. When June's overprotective (as an adult, I'd say controlling) parents find a "scary" book in her room, they're appalled that she got it from her school library. Instead of discussing it with her like normal, rational adults, they go full Fahrenheit 451 and go after the library, suspending the librarian, canceling an author visit, and getting the school to ban all "unapproved" books. When June fi I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Oh, this warmed my librarian heart. When June's overprotective (as an adult, I'd say controlling) parents find a "scary" book in her room, they're appalled that she got it from her school library. Instead of discussing it with her like normal, rational adults, they go full Fahrenheit 451 and go after the library, suspending the librarian, canceling an author visit, and getting the school to ban all "unapproved" books. When June finds a Little Free Library with a book in it, the Rebel Librarian is born. Her catalog is a notebook where students are identified by superhero names, her shelves are the vacant locker next to hers. When the Rebel Library is found, June just decide whether to please her parents or please herself.As an adult, I have a LOT of questions about the adults in this situation, and all of them start with "what is wrong with you?" As a kid reader, I would have gobbled this up and then tracked down all the books mentioned in it. This part is great, because Varnes names actual controversial books (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, George, Harry Potter, Brown Girl Dreaming) that kids can then go read themselves. I'd love to do a display of this title with all the books in the Rebel Library.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    June’s parents don’t want her reading any “scary witch books,” and when they find that she has checked one out of the school library, her Mom returns it to the library herself. That’s bad enough but then the librarian leaves with the police (that seems extreme?), and the library is closed for a while.When it reopens, the collection has been culled only to include approved titles. June starts her own library to circulate books she finds in a Little Free Library near her home.I love books about bo June’s parents don’t want her reading any “scary witch books,” and when they find that she has checked one out of the school library, her Mom returns it to the library herself. That’s bad enough but then the librarian leaves with the police (that seems extreme?), and the library is closed for a while.When it reopens, the collection has been culled only to include approved titles. June starts her own library to circulate books she finds in a Little Free Library near her home.I love books about books and readers. Here’s my elevator pitch: It’s kinda Middle-Grade version of the Footloose town with books being banned instead of dancing. I thought it was inspiring and set a great example of overcoming censorship and one person standing up and making a difference.
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  • Karsyn
    January 1, 1970
    Received from NetGalley.This book was hard to read at times for me. For anyone who was told what to do, how to do it, how to live, and so on, this book may be hard for you to read. I felt June's pain so much as I felt transported back to my own childhood, but I was unable to be brave and fearless like June, as I had the added "you'll go to hell" if I did anything wrong. Sigh.This book was so well done on many levels. You really feel for June, even if you've never experienced such things before. Received from NetGalley.This book was hard to read at times for me. For anyone who was told what to do, how to do it, how to live, and so on, this book may be hard for you to read. I felt June's pain so much as I felt transported back to my own childhood, but I was unable to be brave and fearless like June, as I had the added "you'll go to hell" if I did anything wrong. Sigh.This book was so well done on many levels. You really feel for June, even if you've never experienced such things before. Her parents and her school is being beyond unreasonable and she's sitting there wondering why everyone is turning to idiots around her. All she wants is freedom to read, she's not asking to take over the world or be evil or do bad things, she just wants to read. And oh, how infuriating the parents and school is, and even some classmates.But June stands up for herself and her books and it's wonderful that she does. You cry when she cries and cheer when she takes control. It's a really good story. Fun but meaningful!
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  • Rachel Seigel
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! Think Footloose but with books instead of music. Another great kid activism story and the importance of books in expanding a child's mind. A must have for every middle school!
  • Jeanie Cullip
    January 1, 1970
    Today (September 18, 2018) is Property of the Rebel Librarian's release day! I completely recommend purchasing it, reading it, and then sharing it with your students and/or children! Allison Varnes is brilliant at making her readers feel self-confident and enjoy a good laugh. The message is clear; little people can do big things, one person can make a difference, and books should not be censored. From the publisher: When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropri Today (September 18, 2018) is Property of the Rebel Librarian's release day! I completely recommend purchasing it, reading it, and then sharing it with your students and/or children! Allison Varnes is brilliant at making her readers feel self-confident and enjoy a good laugh. The message is clear; little people can do big things, one person can make a difference, and books should not be censored. From the publisher: When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval. But June can't give up books . . . and she realizes she doesn't have to when she spies a Little Free Library on her walk to school. As the rules become stricter at school and at home, June keeps turning the pages of the banned books that continue to appear in the little library. It's a delicious secret . . . and one she can't keep to herself. June starts a banned book library of her own in an abandoned locker at school. The risks grow alongside her library's popularity, and a movement begins at Dogwood Middle--a movement that, if exposed, could destroy her. But if it's powerful enough, maybe it can save Ms. Bradshaw and all that she represents: the freedom to read.Equal parts fun and empowering, this novel explores censorship, freedom of speech, and activism. For any kid who doesn't believe one person can effect change...and for all the kids who already know they can!Next week (September 23-29, 2018) is Banned Books week. Banned Books Week is the annual celebration of the freedom to read. The event is sponsored by a coalition of organizations dedicated to free expression. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular. This would be the perfect read aloud to make those aware of books that have been banned due to their material of various sorts and encourage those to speak out for those books that have been silenced. Reviews Published I would like to thank Netgalley for the advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I read this book as a part of my #BookaDay Reading Challenge, inspired by Donalyn Miller. My goal is to read at least one children's literature book every weekday and share my thoughts here on my blog. Please feel free to subscribe or connect with me on social media to follow my journey through the books I read. Until next time ...
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade fiction novel in exchange for this review. This book takes a look at book censorship at a middle school that has everyone on edge, and kids that love to read are made to feel like troublemakers. This is somewhat of a cautionary tale of how trying to keep a tight rein on the types of books kids read can get way out of hand.June Harper, a seventh grader a Dogwood Middle School, loves to read just about any book she can get I had the opportunity to read a NetGalley digital ARC of this middle grade fiction novel in exchange for this review. This book takes a look at book censorship at a middle school that has everyone on edge, and kids that love to read are made to feel like troublemakers. This is somewhat of a cautionary tale of how trying to keep a tight rein on the types of books kids read can get way out of hand.June Harper, a seventh grader a Dogwood Middle School, loves to read just about any book she can get her hands on. When her parents discover that she’s been reading a book that they disapprove of, they start a crusade at her school to eliminate all books that don’t meet their very strict guidelines. The school librarian is suspended and most of the books are removed from the school’s library. New rules are put in place that severely restrict what kids can read and harsh penalties are inflicted on any student caught with unapproved reading materials in their possession.June and her new friends are determined to continue reading, so they start an underground library of their favorite novels. They promise each other to stay tight-lipped about the book loaning, but when school officials start getting suspicious, things really heat up for these kids. There’s quite a bit of suspense for readers trying to find out how these kids are going to get around these insane rules that have been instituted “for their own good.” Book lovers will also get a treat of seeing some of their favorite titles become part of the Rebel Librarian’s collection. The author helped those who would like to check out some of these books with a list of the titles at the end of the book.I think this book will be enjoyed by middle grade kids who already enjoy reading books, especially some of the ones that are traded back and forth by the students at Dogwood Middle School. I also think that kids that enjoy reading about others’ defying unfair rules will have a good time with this book.
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  • Doni
    January 1, 1970
    A Fahrenheit 451 for kids, The Property of the Rebel Librarian is a must-read for anyone who loves books, libraries, and the freedom to choose what you will read. June Harper is a rule-follower until the rules don't make sense anymore. Her very strict parents get upset about a book she is reading that they decide is "too scary" for her. June doesn't agree. As active members of the PTSA, her parents get the librarian who recommended the book suspended from her job. They also confiscate "objection A Fahrenheit 451 for kids, The Property of the Rebel Librarian is a must-read for anyone who loves books, libraries, and the freedom to choose what you will read. June Harper is a rule-follower until the rules don't make sense anymore. Her very strict parents get upset about a book she is reading that they decide is "too scary" for her. June doesn't agree. As active members of the PTSA, her parents get the librarian who recommended the book suspended from her job. They also confiscate "objectionable" books in the school's library as well as June's personal stash. Objections include anything that might inspire children to rebel as well as Captain Underpants because the word "underpants" is in the title.June knows what they are doing is wrong, but doesn't know what to do about it. That is, until she comes across A Little Free Library and borrows a book from it.As someone who loves libraries for the autonomy they promote and the expansion of knowledge about the world and people both similar and different from yourself, I cannot promote this book enough. I also loved how significant the contribution of the Little Free Library was as someone who has one on her front porch. The thought of being able to find a way to liberate a community within a repressive majority was inspiring. June wasn't rebelling for the sake of rebelling. She was rebelling because she was right. And while her actions were very divisive, many people rallied behind her cause. I was ugly-crying by the end of it.
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  • Meg Williams- Librarian
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book last night and found that it was thoughtful and appropriate (it's banned books week!) from start to finish. I bought this book for myself thinking "When I'm done I can donate it to my library and have it go on the shelf for the kids" but I found myself enjoying it so much I decided to keep it! I will be purchasing another copy for my library. :)As a children's librarian, I was delighted to see a book pertaining to censorship and Banned Books that was the right age for some of my I read this book last night and found that it was thoughtful and appropriate (it's banned books week!) from start to finish. I bought this book for myself thinking "When I'm done I can donate it to my library and have it go on the shelf for the kids" but I found myself enjoying it so much I decided to keep it! I will be purchasing another copy for my library. :)As a children's librarian, I was delighted to see a book pertaining to censorship and Banned Books that was the right age for some of my older kiddos. Sometimes it's hard to explain challenging and banning to kids who have never experienced it, and that is exactly what June goes through in this novel. It's often hard to imagine going through a situation so tough, so why not read about it and see for yourself what June went through? I believe this book could help facilitate a wonderful and insightful discussion among children/teens about what they would do if they were in June's position. Despite what some of the characters in the book think, I think that June is a wonderful role model and that her persistence in fighting for what is right is the kind of character that kids need to look up to. She was brave in a situation where she knew she could be in BIG trouble for standing up to censorship, and I think that is admirable and worth talking to our children about. Overall I thought this was a wonderful book and would recommend it to anyone (children, teens, and adults). I think everyone could learn a little something about June!
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