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Memoirs of a Bookbat
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Memoirs of a Bookbat

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  192 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Harper Jessup is an avid reader, and when her parents become “migrants for God” she must keep her books secret. As Harper grows older and realizes how valuable reading is to her, she comes to understand that her parents’ radical efforts in favor of educational censorship are related to a quest for control within their own family. And so Harper finds she must make the harde ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1996 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 541)
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Dec 03, 2008 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in the portrayal of fundamentalist christianity/ book-banning/ abortion in juvy lit
This was the newest installment in my "reread available juvy lit to survive the stress of finals" series. Initially, I was disappointed. Lasky varies her sentence structures so rarely that I found myself lulled practically to sleep at times, and I'm not sure how well the direct address worked outside her target age group. (Whether it works within her target age group I can no longer speak to.) That said, the plot -- about growing up an avid reader in a family of newly fundamentalist Christians w ...more
Jan 21, 2009 library_jim rated it really liked it
We named our daughter Harper because of this book.
Austen to Zafón
Jan 18, 2010 Austen to Zafón rated it really liked it
I'ts been fun to mine the newest literature for tweens and teens, under the guise of "pre-reading" for my young son. This book was published long after my teen years. I enjoyed its portrayal of the out-there wing of the evangelical church, banning books they think might cause people to think or question. It's a poor faith that can't stand up to Judy Blume and books on natural history. The main character, a compulsive and enthusiastic reader, is believable, although she does sometimes have insigh ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Taehee rated it it was amazing
Because my parents are religious, they have said some things about reading certain books from time to time but it usually had been in a passing note- probably because they already have read the books before and enjoyed it (hehe)- and they let me decide for myself if I should keep this book a part of my memory or just put it in the "trash" part of my brain.

But what Harper's parents does to their children in this book goes as far as to make me feel like they're abusing their child mentally. I mea
Feb 02, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I wish I could give 4.5 stars. I reserve 5 stars for books I want on my bookshelf and would read again and again. This book, while not quite that, is riveting. I wish it had been around when I was an adolescent.
Aug 13, 2011 Tess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are quite a few books about books (or reading or the power of words), but I liked the angle this one took: what if you grow up in a religious family that thinks many books are "dirty" and even fights them?

In the end, it wasn't so much about the books (which made me go a little "meh") but a story about growing up and having to choose between your family and your books (/your freedom of thought). It was a nice read but considering the topic, I expected it to be more gripping, deeper, someth
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
Sep 22, 2015 Cindy Dyson Eitelman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2015
If you have Harriet The Spy on your all-time favorite book list, you should have this on there, too. I'm not comparing the two--other than the age and sex of the protagonist, the books are completely different--but rather, my reaction to them. I read Harriet over and over, re-read as an adult, and would still be reading it now if I hadn't practically memorized the whole thing.

If I'd come upon Bookbat at the same age, 10 or so, I'd have done the same. (might still) And it might have induced me t
Neill Smith
Aug 11, 2011 Neill Smith rated it it was amazing
Harper Jessup moves a lot after her father loses his job and then her parents start fighting. In order to bring this under control they join a church and gradually become convinced that the church's truth should be everyone's. Harper, an avid reader, finds that her favourite activity is inappropriate – or at least her choice of books is. As her little sister, Weesie, becomes more and more accepting of her parent's direction, Harper is more and more alienated. Then she meets Gray, another reader, ...more
Oct 16, 2014 Dawn added it
A very thought-provoking book
Liz B
Nov 10, 2008 Liz B rated it really liked it
Honestly, what a horrible cover (and title, for that matter) for such a good book.

This is a book about reading, and about how reading helps you think. Harper travels with her parents across the country; while they organize local churches to challenge books in schools, Harper reads and reads and reads--often reading exactly the kinds of books her parents and parents' friends are challenging.

I loved Harper's voice, and also the frequent references to favorite childhood books.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Jul 24, 2010 Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-ya
This was such a good book! Harper's religious parents travel from school district to school district enrolling her just long enough to find something in her school's library to censor. Harper, however, likes to read, and finds that she likes to read some of the very books her parents disapprove of. In the end, she has to chose what path she will follow if she is to be true to her own beliefs. This is an eye-opening look at censorship and the freedom to read. Highly recommended!
Mar 05, 2010 Erin rated it it was amazing
This is the story of a girl growing up without a lot of money and parents who fight often, but she loves to read. But her parents' relationship improves when they find religion and they try to ban books all over the country. The main character, Harper, is moved around and forced to hide her books from her parents. She is struggling to find out how she can do what she wants with her life without destroying her family or her beliefs.
Jan 16, 2010 Lydia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-read
Lasky's book is a truly enjoyable read; a must for every librarian. She attacks the issue of censorship, morality, freedom of speech, pursuit of happiness, oh, just pick a constitutional issue. Yet the story is well constructed and the writing superb.

I highly recommend this book.
Jen Ammenti
Nov 24, 2012 Jen Ammenti rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-young-adult
A thought-provoking novel about a teenager who finds herself at a crossroads... allow herself to be silenced and stand by her parents or follow her own beliefs and leave behind all she has known. This novel exposes censorship on a variety of levels and will get teens fired up and talking.
Jul 03, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it
An "oldie" YA book about what happens to a girl who has to deal with her parent's desire to censor literature in the name of "family values." It is a timeless topic and Lasky deals with it in a realistic and candid way. I love the main character. A great YA book!
Aug 16, 2008 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Bonnie by: Annette Santana
It is an amazing story of a young person keeping their beliefs intact even in the face of her parents trying there best to stop her. It is a horror story of books being banned. A young girl knowing what is right and trying to stay true to herself. Awesome book!!
Michael Fitzgerald
Jan 18, 2011 Michael Fitzgerald rated it really liked it
A quick, easy read that tells a compelling story that is frighteningly real and getting even more so.
Nhadz Mohammad
Feb 17, 2011 Nhadz Mohammad rated it really liked it
If you grew up in a weird family like Harper's, then this book could be your key to freedom...
Mar 21, 2015 Christy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don't think anything is quite as comforting as rereading a favorite.
Miami University Libraries
King Library, Ground Floor, IMC, Juv: PZ7.L3274 Me 1994

About book banning
Oct 19, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile
Pretty awesome - my only quibble was the abruptness of the ending.
Mar 24, 2007 Bookbat rated it really liked it
I read this book in a single sitting. It was that good.
Stephanie (Purdueliz) Baassler
Read for my Children's Lit class and adored it.
Nov 09, 2011 Maddie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
CRAP, oh and propaganda as well!
Andrea marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2016
Caitlin marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2016
Hannah Parker
Hannah Parker rated it liked it
Feb 06, 2016
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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