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Property of the Rebel Librarian

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  487 ratings  ·  171 reviews
When twelve-year-old June Harper's parents discover what they deem an inappropriate library book, they take strict parenting to a whole new level. And everything June loves about Dogwood Middle School unravels: librarian Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, an author appearance is canceled, the library is gutted, and all books on the premises must have administrative approval.

But J
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
June Harper loves reading, and she’s constantly grabbing book recommendations from her school librarian, Ms. Bradshaw. However, when her overprotective parents find a book they claim contains inappropriate content, they take drastic steps to curtain her reading. Not only is her personal collection confiscated, but Ms. Bradshaw is suspended, the school library is weeded for content, and students can only read pre-approved materials.

For June, the restrictions are impossible. But after spotting a L
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of references to classic and contemporary children's books and a pro-reading, pro-library message.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a book lover you have to read this book!!!

Interest Level: 3-6

What if someone told you what you could and couldn't read? Would that be fair?What if you got in major trouble for even having a book that was not endorsed by the school? Would that be fair either? The answer to both of those questions is NO! Well, this is exactly what is happening to June Harper. When she checks out a book from her school library that her parents deem inappropriate, it starts a snowball effect of bad things
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
"When in doubt, go to the library." And if you don't have access to a rich and exciting library collection, do what June Harper does -- build your own! June has always loved books, but when the adults in her life try to restrict her access to them, they become even more precious (and powerful).
Packed with *kid power* and super fun references to books middle grade readers know and love (or will want to get to know!) parts of this story actually had me cheering out loud.
Fast paced, full of twist
Jenny Chou
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When June's parents find her reading a book about witches, they suddenly go to extremes to control her reading choices. Her dad is on the PTA, and he leads the charge to suspend the school librarian and clean the school library of any book that could be harmful to a child (or cause them to actually THINK). Even the books in June's own bookcase get a parental make-over. Pages are ripped out and notecards replace endings. (Old Yeller lives happily ever after.) Middle grade readers will connect wit ...more
Tara Gilboy
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I finished this book in one sitting, staying up until one in the morning to do so. It’s a book about books! And banned ones! I was hooked! I love the way Varnes did such a great job capturing the point of view of a middle school girl, especially one with such controlling parents. She is frustrated, seeks their approval, is embarrassed by their actions, but loves them too…. They make a lot of parenting mistakes, but Varnes is careful to paint them carefully, taking care not to villainize them. Th
Theresa Grissom
I am so grateful that I got to read an ARC of this book! I absolutely loved everything about Rebel Librarian! This was an easy read and I was hooked from the beginning. I can't wait to get copies for my library and share this with students.

Awesome job, Allison Varnes!
Anne O'Brien Carelli
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was given an ARC to review and had no idea what to expect. What a wonderful story! It explores sensitive topics like censorship and activism with a fast-moving, always entertaining plot. The MC June is respectful and feisty at the same time, and has to figure out how to navigate her love for reading and the topic of banned books. I loved the way the author was able to take a heavy subject and make it realistic and appealing for middle grade students. This book will not only inform readers, but ...more
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had high hopes for this one. Sadly, I was rather disappointed. The premise was promising; June, a seventh-grade girl rebels when her both parents and the school she attends embark on a book censorship program. However, the degree of their censorship was so extreme as to not be believable. While I do realize that was, perhaps, the point (a little junior Fahrenheit 451?) I personally need a book to be believable in order for me to buy into the story. It is difficult to imagine a librarian being ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I saw "Rebel Librarian" in the title, I knew I had to read this and it did not disappoint! This book made me angry, happy, sad, and hopeful. I felt like I was back in history with the book banning on a massive level, but sadly these are the mindset of many people today. I was glad that the ending didn't wrap everything up in a nice bow, but left the readers hopeful that some changes will be made. This book will open up a great discussion with children who read it. I kind of want there ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read this book! Then tell every librarian, teacher, child, and parent you know to Read This Book!
The story isn't a new one, but the message is vital: the rule-following good girl becomes a rebel when she experiences censorship that she believes is unfair and unacceptable. The parents in this book were pretty horrible and extreme, but there are people like them in our world who try to control not just what their own kids think and read, but what every child in a school or library district is allo
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so good. I was afraid it would be like Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, but it really was not. When June’s parents find a book librarian gave her to read, they take it and all her personal books away and begin a crusade to censor books at her middle school. I loved all the titles included and the many great quotes contained within. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my review.
Lizanne Johnson
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Intermediate, middle grade
This book made me so mad! How could adults stand by and allow books to be banned? I was so emotionally involved in this book!
June Harper is a middle schooler with a positive relationship with books and her school librarian. June's parents decide that some of the books she is reading are inappropriate. New and old books are removed from the school library. The librarian is fired. The library closes. What will June do without her books? What will the rest of the students
Lisa Lewis
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Property of the Rebel Librarian was a fantastic read! I enjoyed reading how June took matters into her own hands when she was not allowed to read books of her choice. So many great books are mentioned as are Little Free Libraries.
I read an ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
Melanie Sumrow
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book does a great job of introducing the topic of book censorship in a thoughtful way. I was rooting for June from the very beginning! The story is quick-paced, and it will be a great springboard for thought-provoking discussions among students.
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, man.

I don't think I've ever walked away from a book SO ANGRY! I've always heard about those types of parents that are really strict about what their kids can/can't read, but its never gone further than "don't bring those books in my house" type situations. This book takes it a step further with June's mom complaining to the principal about her daughters book being "too scary" and having an unsavory topic such as witchcraft in it. All of this complaining winds up with the school librarian fi
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I often think to myself, it's 2018 why are people still banning and challenging books?
It's never made sense to me, actually.
This book does not shed a light on that part of the issue at all. In fact, I think June's parents are barely a step above Matilda's. They are cruel- all in the name of raising their child in the "right" way. It's not just books, btw. They eat giant bowls of ice cream in front of her too.
Overall it's a great story.
I wanted to get back to it right away, I cared about June'
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
When seventh-grader June Harper’s parents decide her latest reading material is too inappropriate for her, they cause a chain reaction of events, from the firing of June’s beloved librarian to the removal of almost all the books in the Dogwood Middle’s library, to the new strict rules regarding what students can and cannot read. Devastated by and fed up with the new rules, June soon starts an underground library at her school, using an empty locker to trade the bookish goods. If discovered, June ...more
B.A. Wilson
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg, contemporary
This is a great homage to reading, books, librarians, and the freedom to read. My librarian heart just loves the message of this story.

This would be a great book for group discussion at schools and libraries, since it opens up the topics of censorship and right to read, which can be major issues, especially for middle school libraries in small or rural areas.

As a band geek, and also having a degree in music, I really loved all the band moments in this story. It almost feels like this story was
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
All my library friends must read this tribute to librarians and the freedom to read!

June, a 12-year old avid reader, checks out a new book from the middle school library as she's done many times before. But when her parents see it and disapprove, June's innocent choice of reading material snowballs into the suspension of her beloved school librarian, the sacking and pillaging of the school library, and a ban on all books other that what the school assigns! On top of that, June's parents confisca
LOVED! LOVED! LOVED! This book. I did have a few flashbacks to my own childhood. Such an empowering book. I hope young people everywhere shout "Don't Tell Me What To Read!"
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes! This book was so good. Even though it is a middle-grade book, everyone can enjoy it. I highly recommend it. Loved it.
First sentence: You're going to read a lot about me and the things I've done. Most of it's true. I can't help that, not that I'd want to. I would do the exact same thing all over again if I had the chance.

Premise/plot: June Harper loves, loves, loves to read, but when her parents catch her reading her latest check out from the school library, The Makings of a Witch, her worst nightmare begins. What is her worst nightmare? It's not that she's grounded, though that does happen a lot in this one. N
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg-fiction
June’s parents don’t want her reading any “scary witch books,” and when they find that she has checked one out of the school library, her Mom returns it to the library herself. That’s bad enough but then the librarian leaves with the police (that seems extreme?), and the library is closed for a while.

When it reopens, the collection has been culled only to include approved titles.

June starts her own library to circulate books she finds in a Little Free Library near her home.

I love books about bo
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Yes, yes, yes.

Though I found it odd that the book that started everything was banned for witchcraft, yet in the midst of the school's crackdown the English class is reading The Crucible and no one bats an eye.
WKPL Children's/YA Books
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Miss Jen absolutely loved this book! There is a little rebel inside all of us, even those that usually follow all the rules! Perfect for 4th-7th grade.
Ms. Yingling
Jul 20, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

When June's parents catch her reading a book of which they disapprove, The Makings of a Witch, they not only take it away from her, but her mother returns it to the school library herself. It's great that her parents are very involved in the school, but not so great that in the wake of her mother's visit, the school librarian, Ms. Bradshaw, is escorted out of the building by the police and the library is closed for a bit. It's even worse when she finds out that her paren
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Hovering somewhere between 2 and 3 stars, my review bumps up to 3 to give Property of the Rebel Librarian extra credit, as it were, for its pro-reading, anti-censorship, and pro-activism message, plus an amazing booklist (including many very recently published titles) to inspire students who want to read excellent, commonly challenged books.

What I loved:
A heroine who employs a combination of civil disobedience, networking, and effective public speaking to try to effect real change in her communi
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copy, owned
I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oh, this warmed my librarian heart. When June's overprotective (as an adult, I'd say controlling) parents find a "scary" book in her room, they're appalled that she got it from her school library. Instead of discussing it with her like normal, rational adults, they go full Fahrenheit 451 and go after the library, suspending the librarian, canceling an author visit, and getting the school to ban all "unapproved" books. When June fi
Kate Schwarz
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
June is your average good girl: she follows the rules (even though her parents seem to have way too many), she likes to hang out with her friends (and, as a 7th grader, is learning to figure out when to follow them and when to be true to herself), and she loves to read (she prefers spine-tingling stories). But when she chooses a book of which her parents do not approve, they go a little nuts. They take all of her books away, then then go to her school and complain about the librarian, who hands ...more
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