The firstprinting was in August 1981 in the Unites States of America.
The story takes place in the late 1970s in small, historic Sussex, Massachusetts. The main characters, Maudie Schmidt and Kate Harris,volunteer to participate in an experimental school reading program in which Revere Middle School students help first graders learn to appreciate reading. The two sixth graders experience censorshipfirsthand when students question Kate's choice of reading material and outraged parents declare the book "smut." Maudie and Kate develop a true friendship as a result of the conflict they encounter.I asked my self, how can I use the book censorship issue as a topic for a kids' book? Simple, put a kid in the teacher's place and take the controversy from there.
Here sixth-grader Kate Harrisvolunteers to read to first graders in a school project cooked up by both teachers. Her only concern is that the other volunteer, Maudie Schmidt, is one of those kids that nobody wants to get stuck with.Another sensitive aspect of Maudie and Me and the Dirty Book is eleven year old Kate's apprehension about middle school. She tries very hard to be "cool" and to choose the right friends. Maudie, onthe other hand, is a shy, overweight loner; early in the book, Kate describes her as "sort of a dope-one of the kids that everybody wants to avoid." But as Kate spends more time with Maudie, she learnsto appreciate Maudie's intelligence, sensitivity, and sense of humor.
Kate and Maudie reveal much about themselves by volunteering to help first graders learn to read. Kate is understanding and...