September Middle Grade Pick of the Month

Middle grade is a term that refers to books written for readers between the ages of eight and twelve. In this column, Erica will recommend great books for children in this age group!

Attack of the Black Rectangles by Amy Sarig King

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Mac is a kid who believes in the importance of asking questions – *especially* the hard ones teachers don’t always want to answer. So when he and his friends find out that their sixth-grade teacher has given them books with censor bars over certain words – specifically hiding references to a young girl’s breasts – they’re appalled. Thus begins a campaign against their teacher and the school administration as a whole – a campaign that ends up creating unusual alliances and empowering the kids and their families to speak up about a number of issues they’ve been ignoring or afraid to talk about.

This is a powerful story about the importance of seeking truth, standing up for what’s right and knowing when rules need to be broken. A relatable and well-developed cast of characters come together to tell a compelling story, one that readers today will recognize in their own communities – and hopefully absorb the message of the importance of what their voice and keeping an open mind can do for them and the world they live in.

Check out the book that Booklist Reviews called “whip-smart, tuned in to the mind of sixth-graders, and beautifully concluded” as well as “a beacon of hope for middle grades and an object lesson in treating kids like the intelligent readers they are”; School Library Journal praised as “timely and relevant” and “a striking book on censorship; a must-have in all middle grade classrooms and school libraries”; and Kirkus Reviews described as “a searingly relevant opus to intellectual freedom” that “skillfully encourages keeping open minds and extending grace to the oblivious and hostile alike.”

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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