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Banned Book and Aventures Create a Timely Story for Young Readers to Discover What Is Really Important

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

To Ban or Not to Ban Is the Timely Question Put Forth in This Chapter Book for 'Tweens'

timely topic for 'tween readers who face the issue of banned books in our society now

timely topic for 'tween readers who face the issue of banned books in our society now

A Timely Story of How Children View the Subject of Banned Books in Their School

Best-selling author David Levithan's Answers in the Pages is a timely chapter book for "tween" readers who are facing the issues of banned books in their schools and libraries. Children often see this issue of banning a book in a different way from their parents and teachers. Sometimes the issue is not even an issue for young readers. They see the theme of a book in question in one way, and their parents see the theme in another way and often see underlying issues that are actually unimportant to the children who read the book.

This is the problem with the book The Adventurers that Donovan's English teacher has assigned as a book for the class to read. The two main characters are engaged in stopping an evil entity from getting a dangerous Doomsday Code and making life disappear as everyone knows it. Donovan's mom has read a few pages of the book and she sees an underlying theme that upsets her. She makes it her mission to get the book banned from the school and the town library. Donovan and his friends see this book as only an adventure story. They find that they must take action against the idea of banning books and stand up for what they see is right in their world as readers. A book project with two friends in the language arts class brings in another issue for the students to face. Many students will see themselves in the characters in this story of two friends of the same sex who discover that they must be who they are.

Levithan writes with simplicity to address the issues of book banning and issues in society that our students are facing in their daily life. "Tween" readers in later elementary grades and early junior high will relate to this entertaining story of how Donovan and his friends face the issue of banned books and friendship. I find his writing to be highly creative in his ability to switch back and forth from the adventure that the two main characters in The Adventurers are having to the story of Donovan and his friends with the issue of this potentially banned book.

Answers in the Pages is a timely read for ages 9-12 and parents may also enjoy this chapter book. The book paves the way for a discussion with students and their parents about the subject of banned books and the issue of gay friends. It was published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin/Random House. It has an ISBN of 978-0-593-48468-5.



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Bring Answers in the Pages Into the Classroom for Timely Discussions and Language Arts Projects

David Levithan's Answers in the Pages is a timely choice for teachers who teach language arts for ages 9-12. This chapter book presents the opportunity for students to openly discuss the important topic of banned books that is now sweeping the country. Students will relate to the issue that students sometimes do not see a potentially banned book in the same light that their parents or teachers see the book in. They also will relate to the issue of friendship and love in today's world.

*Assign the book to be read individually or collectively in class. Chapter books offer the opportunity for students to practice their skills in reading aloud. Students will enjoy reading a few chapters every day aloud to their classmates to share the book as a collective reading project.

*Call attention to the adventure that the two characters are engaged in in the potentially banned book The Adventurers that is assigned to Donovan's language arts class. Engage students in a discussion of how Levithan switches back and forth between this story and the issues that Donovan and his friends face by solving the issue of having this book banned from their school and library.

*Engage students in a discussion of how they feel about the subject of banned books. Do they agree with having this book banned from Donovan's school?

*Assign a creative writing project for students to write about how they feel about the new trend of banning books because adults do not think that students are old enough for certain themes in current books for their age group.

*As a side issue, Levithan's book could be eventually banned from schools and libraries. I recommend that teachers and parents read the book to make a decision about using the book in the classroom.


© 2022 Cindy Hewitt

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