ATTACK OF THE BLACK RECTANGLES by Amy Sarig King
Fiction, YA, 272 pages
Blurb: Award-winning author Amy Sarig King takes on censorship and intolerance in a novel she was born to write. Everyone in town knows and fears Ms. Laura Samuel Sett. She is the town watchdog, always on the lookout for unsavory words and the unsavory people who use them. She is also Mac’s sixth-grade teacher. Mac and his friends are outraged when they discovered that their class copies of Jane Yolen’s THE DEVIL’S ARITHMETIC have certain works blacked out. Mac has been raised by his mom and grandad to call out things that are wrong, so he and his friends head to the principal’s office to protest the censorship. Her response isn’t reassuring — so the protest grows.
Thoughts: This was an amazing book that all adults should read. It’s aimed at YA readers (the main characters are in sixth grade), but I think kids “get it” while adults don’t. Especially those who are trying to get books censored or banned.
Mac and his friends are assigned Jane Yolen’s “The Devil’s Arithmetic” to read, but a lot of the words are blacked out In the books with black marker. They go to the library to find the “uncensored” book but can’t find It there so they head to an Independent bookstore where they find—and read—what is missing. And thus starts their fight.
This is a book about censorship and book banning. It’s also about PTSD and family issues. It’s about life today. Censorship and banning of books is wrong. You hae the right to read what you want, as do I. But you do NOT have the right to tell me what I can read. Freedom of speech is a basic tenet of our constitution and as such, book banning and censorship is wrong.
Recommendation: I sincerely wish every adult would read this book as well as kids. Unfortunately, the people who *should* read it, won’t. But please, do yourself a favor and realize what this book is about and fight against censorship.