Our favorite books!
So many different faces!
Where have they gone?
Kanzi is excited to lead her class to the school library, remembering how they welcomed her from Egypt.
But they are dismayed to find their favorite shelves of diverse books… empty!
Those beautiful books about many different types of people have been banned – why? Ms. Jackson, the librarian, says “Some books are so powerful that they intimidate people.”
Now Kanzi can’t find any books with words in Arabic to share at home, and other classmates don’t see any books with kids who look like them either.
During discussion time, Kareem asks if they could raise money to buy those books to donate to Little Free Libraries around town, and the class decides on a bake sale and protest!
After school on Friday, they set out the treats featured in their beloved books and quickly sell them all.
It’s time to protest! Students hold signs asking for diverse books, teachers and parents join the chant “No banned books!” and here comes the TV reporter!
Can they convince the school district to bring back the books they love?
Unfortunately this book is based on a real incident, as Kanzi’s first story, An Arabic Quilt, is among books being removed from school libraries in the US.
During Banned Books Week (and every week), seek out books that feature characters from outside the dominant culture and hear voices often suppressed!
Book info: The Great Banned-Books Bake Sale / Aya Khalil; art by Anait Semirdzhyan. Tilbury House Publishers, 2023. [author site] [publisher site] Review copy, sample pages, and cover image courtesy of the publisher.