"Given the rise of book banning in public schools and community libraries across the country (mostly based on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and hostility towards the LGBTQ community), "The Great Banned-Books Bake Sale" deserves as wide a readership as possible and should be a part of every elementary school and community library picture book collections for young readers ages 7-10."
Great Banned-Books Bake Sale, The
About The Author and Illustrator
Kanzi, the immigrant girl of Aya Khalil and Anait Semirdzhyan’s bestselling picture book The Arabic Quilt, has come to feel welcome in her American school—that is, until an entire shelf of books about immigrant kids and kids of color suddenly disappears from the school library. Upon learning that books with kids who look like her have been banned by her school district, Kanzi is overcome by confusion and fear. But her classmates support her, and together— with their teacher’s help—they hatch a plan to hold a bake sale and use the proceeds to buy diverse books for libraries. The event is a big success; the entire school participates, and the local TV station covers it in the evening news. Prodded by her classmates to read the poem she has written, Kanzi starts softly but finds her voice. “You have banned important books, but you can’t ban my words,” she reads. “Books are for everyone.” The crowd chants, “No banned books! No banned books!” and the next week, the ban is reversed.
The backmatter includes a recipe for baklawa, the Egyptian pastry that Kanzi prepares for the bake sale.