Answers in the Pages written by the New York Times bestselling author David Levithan is a middle-grade novel about friendship, censorship, and bravery.
Donovan, a fifth-grader just got assigned a new book called The Adventurers by his teacher, Mr. Lowe. He didn’t think much about it when his mom asked to see the book one day after school. That is when everything changed because his mother didn’t like what she read and wanted to ban the book. Donovan was suddenly caught in the middle. What will he do? Read the book to find out!
Throughout the book, the author interweaves three different storylines. One is Donovan’s perspective, another is a blooming friendship between two classmates Gideon and Roberto and the last storyline are chapters from The Adventurers.
This book was interesting to read because it provided the reader with multiple perspectives from different characters. It’s also an important book for the LGBTQ+ community. There are many characters in the book that are in this community including the teacher, parents, and students.
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Reading this book with your tween can be an important exercise. Talk about the various perspectives and how you each feel about the different characters and the conflict they are in. What would your child do if they were Donovan? How does Allison feel in the book and why? I love this book because it helps children with perspective-taking, which is key to empathy and inclusion. Also, talk about Donovan’s character development throughout the book.
To learn more about David Levithan, visit his website here.