This Book Won’t Burn

This Book Won’t Burn
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Release Date
May 07, 2024
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Internment comes a timely and gripping social-suspense novel about book banning, activism, and standing up for what you believe.

After her dad abruptly abandons her family and her mom moves them a million miles from their Chicago home, Noor Khan is forced to start the last quarter of her senior year at a new school, away from everything and everyone she knows and loves. 

Reeling from being uprooted and deserted, Noor is certain the key to survival is to keep her head down and make it to graduation.  

But things aren’t so simple. At school, Noor discovers hundreds of books have been labeled “obscene” or “pornographic” and are being removed from the library in accordance with a new school board policy. Even worse, virtually all the banned books are by queer and BIPOC authors.  

Noor can’t sit back and do nothing, because that goes against everything she believes in, but challenging the status quo just might put a target on her back. Can she effect change by speaking up? Or will small-town politics—and small-town love—be her downfall? 

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This book, Won't Burn, is about one of the most important topics that our world faces: the regular banning of books. It is a not new concept. It has been talked about for years and has been in effect in lots of ways over the years. I, for one, stand on the side of allowing kids to read what they want to read and for their parents to actively be engaged with their kids and what they are reading. The story shines the light on small-town censorship, fascism, book-banning, and bigotry. When a Muslim Indian student moves from the big city to this small town to escape the memories of her dad and finds the library pulling 500 challenging books, she can't stay quiet. It was hard to understand how, for most of the book, her mom did not support her actions even though she raised her girls alongside their dad, going to protests and saying to stand up for what you believe in. My heart hurt for Noor when those she thought were friends turned out to be the kind that doesn't stick around when the going gets tough. This book has essential gems that need to be discussed and shared with young adults. I find it ironic that we can tell 18 years to sign up for drafts, drive cards, make decisions about where to go school, etc., but we don't trust this age group to be able to think for themselves and know what is right for them to read and to come to adults if they have questions. It is such a heartfelt book that everyone should read, and I genuinely stand by Noor and the reading of banned books.
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