I loved this story. It was a very well written and current story. I love the fact that the book challenged in the story the readers got to read excerpts to also make up their minds. This book is really 2 and a half stories in one and I enjoyed all three stories.
Story told in three storylines. There’s what feels like the primary plot of Donovan whose mother is certainly outspoken about her objections to his fifth grade teacher’s most recent book selection for his class. Then, there’s the telling of THAT story inside the “main” storyline. Alongside both of those is a third plot of two boys (Gideon and a new kid, Roberto) who also attend the same school Donovan attends. A few times, I wondered how their paths hadn’t crossed as I read. At first it felt choppy, but after a bit it felt more fluid. It was definitely a sweet reward to see how the various stories eventually connected.
Levithan- take a bow. Now only is this a poignant story, it's creative and a breath of fresh air. The story within a story about book banning which is a hot potato right now but short, pointed, and wholesomely written. I want to hug the book and squeeze it so tight. It's the pinnacle of middle grade. I adore it.
Turtles as a fun side bar. And two boys in a story about adventure being read in class where Donovan's mom read a little bit of it and deemed it unacceptable for her child to be assigned to read in class because of it's gay content. She is a loud mom. She is a vocal mom. So she meets with the principal, she calls other moms, she presses the button on legitimately challenging the book. But who is left out of the equation? Donovan, who's kind of left to figure things out for himself about why the book is that big of a deal, what he thinks about it, what he knows about himself and his friends, and getting a copy of the book from the library when his mom took his.
The fact that it's as short as it is, it is tightly written which I value. It's direct and thoughtful. Levithan is a competent storyteller and leaves a breadcrumb trail of characters based on real people doing good in the world.
And the Board of Education scene *chef's kiss* with the author, their teacher, and the resolution.
It would be a lovely readalike to Starfish.
This is a very interlaced story within a story. I was a bit confused at first, I didn't know if Gideon and Donovan were the same person. But as we learn more about the characters we see how they all intertwine.
This is a great look at books about books and book banning.
Thank you NetGalley for this ARC!
An extremely timely novel about the book banning. Levithan gives the reader three different story lines that weave together beautifully with a delightful surprise at the end. Donovan's mom challenges a book that she deems inappropriate for her fifth grader. This banning brings the class together as they discover what it means to support LGBTQ+ people and the right to read. A fun, moving book about friendship and books.
When Gideon leaves his assigned reading book "The Adventurers" on the kitchen table one night, he has no idea that his mother will start a campaign to have the book removed from his classroom reading list. Objecting to the two main characters' "love" for each other, Gideon's mother jumps to conclusions that the book is about a gay relationship between two 12-year-old boys without having read the entire book, Gideon's mother starts a campaign among the other parents to challenge the books use in the classroom under the guise of "protecting" innocent children. What his mother doesn't know is that there are gay students in his classroom and several of the parents as well as his teacher, Mr. Howe are also in gay relationships. Additionally, Gideon starts to have feelings for the new kid in the class, Roberto and they must hide the extent of their "friendship" from Gideon's mother. Showing the reader how any work of fiction can be interpreted differently by each reader, Levithan challenges us to think carefully and honestly about our own reactions to the works we read.