Attack of the Black Rectangles (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Absolutely excellent, Attack of the Black Rectangles really captures the problems of our current moment and the struggle that kids are going through. Adults tend to underestimate how intelligent kids are, and in refusing to have conversations with them, we don't create more innocent children, just more ignorant adults. I can't wait for everyone to get a chance to share in this wonderful and prevalent book.

— Jacey A.

If you are looking for a book that empowers young people to change the world, this book is it. In the current climate of book banning, this book addresses the idea of more subtle banning of content in Middle School and three 6th graders are not going to have it. Identifying allies and adversaries, Mac and his friends/classmates take on the system and make a difference as they fight for the truth. Loved the inserted "Letters to the Editor" and the cameo appearance of real life author Jane Yolen. A must read for kids and grown ups alike!

— Rebecca G

Taking a book off the shelves is one thing, but what about marking out parts of the book on the inside? There are a lot of strange rules in Mac's town, and for the most part, everyone goes with it. But when his copy of a book from school has black rectangles blocking out some words, he becomes curious. All of his friends copies have the same words blocked out. Why would someone do this? With censorship laws popping up all over the nation, this book is more prevalent than ever. Not only does it help to show that children are strong, smart, and can handle more than we might think, but it also shows that when we band together as a community, that's when we can make change happen. I want to share this book with all my friends!

— Kalli K.


Award-winning author Amy Sarig King takes on censorship and intolerance in a novel she was born to write.

When Mac first opens his classroom copy of Jane Yolen's The Devil’s Arithmetic and finds some words blacked out, he thinks it must be a mistake. But then when he and his friends discover what the missing words are, he's outraged.

Someone in his school is trying to prevent kids from reading the full story.

But who?

Even though his unreliable dad tells him to not get so emotional about a book (or anything else), Mac has been raised by his mom and grandad to call out things that are wrong. He and his friends head to the principal's office to protest the censorship... but her response doesn't take them seriously.

So many adults want Mac to keep his words to himself.

Mac's about to see the power of letting them out.

In Attack of the Black Rectangles, acclaimed author Amy Sarig King shows all the ways truth can be hard... but still worth fighting for.

About the Author

Amy Sarig King is the author of the middle grade titles Me and Marvin Gardens, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and The Year We Fell From Space, an ALSC Notable Children’s Book. She has also published many critically acclaimed young adult novels under the name A. S. King, including Please Ignore Vera Dietz, which was named a Michael L. Printz Honor Book; Ask the Passengers, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Michael L. Printz Award winner and LA Times Book Prize finalist Dig; and SW/TCH. After many years farming abroad, she now lives back in southeastern Pennsylvania with her family. Visit her website at and follow her on Twitter at @AS_King.

Praise For…

Praise for Me and Marvin Gardens:

A Spring 2017 Kid's Indie Next List selection

A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

A New York Public Library Best Book for Kids

A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

A Texas Bluebonnet Master List selection

* "A provocative exploration of human action and interaction on both local and global levels, as well as the interplay between past, present, and future, King's novel will leave readers pondering how we treat each other and the planet. " -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "A smart, environmentally conscious underdog story with a lot of heart.... The characters are rewardingly complex. Through Obe, King asks the Big Questions alongside the smaller, more personal ones in a way that will likely have readers doing the same." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

* "A coming-of-age novel with a fully developed and authentic protagonist. An emotionally rich read for a wide audience, especially those interested in keeping the planet alive and well for future generations." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"Mystical, fablelike... just right for a sensitive sixth-grader with a growing self- and world awareness trying to navigate the troubled waters of uncertain friendships and demeaning bullying. A finely wrought, magical coming-of-age tale with a convincing message." -- Kirkus Reviews

"This is acclaimed YA author King's first foray into middle-grade territory, and it's no surprise that she adeptly handles issues like bullying, compromised friendship, complex family dynamics, and the tedium of homework... Drawing upon the tradition of Carl Hiaasen's Hoot (2002), this eco-focused story will tug at readers' consciences and heartstrings." -- Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9781338680522
ISBN-10: 1338680528
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: September 6th, 2022
Pages: 272
Language: English