Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Allison Varnes

Publishers' Previews: Special advertising supplement in The Horn Book Magazine
This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2018 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.

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In Property of the Rebel Librarian, June discovers that Dogwood Middle School — and her parents — are going to take a very hard line in limiting student reading to approved literature only. How can she fight back?

Photo: Belinda Keller.

1. Was there a book you had to hide from your parents?

No. My parents knew what I was reading, and they were available if I had questions.

2. And is there a book you wish someone had stopped you from reading?

I don’t regret a single book! Each one was important.

3. Were you a band kid? What was your instrument?

Yes! I played flute and piccolo.

4. Why didn’t you give June a public library to go to?

So many kids don’t have walking access or transportation to public libraries, which limits them to their school libraries. I wanted June’s world to reflect that reality and shine a light on just how important school libraries and librarians are. But in a perfect world, there would be a public library on every corner.

5. What’s one thing a young reader can do to protect intellectual freedom?

Young readers can write letters to their school principals, superintendents, school boards, and local newspapers explaining why it’s so important to have the freedom to read!

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