Hi everyone, I hope last week’s post was able to start an honest conversation with your young adult or tween on their choices of reads. This week’s post celebrates libraries of all sizes and shapes, and the young readers who enjoy all that a library offers them. I hope some of my readers find a version of themselves in the pages of these books as I did!!
Title: A girl, a raccoon, and the Midnight Moon
Author: Karen Romano Young
Illustrator: Jessixa Bagley
Publication details: Chronicle Books; California, 2019
What this book is about: Pearl can’t imagine her life anywhere other than the Lancaster Avenue Branch of the New York City Library, where her mom is the librarian. Then the head of the statue in the library’s garden is stolen, and everything changes. The city decides that if the crime isn’t solved or the building isn’t extensively repaired, the library – the only home Pearl has ever known – must close. Luckily, Pearl’s not the only one who loves the library like it’s family. With a cast of richly drawn characters, and hint of just-around-the-corner magic, and Jessixa Bagley’s amazing illustrations throughout, this warm-hearted tale of reading and raccoons from beloved author Karen Romano Young tells of a world where the stories you believe in make all the difference.
My review: What a delightful read this was!! From a professional point, I hadn’t learned so much about budget proposals from work than I did here. It was as if it was written for newbie library managers too!! All about a young girl Pearl and her library family at the place she calls home, the Lancaster Avenue Library, and how she fights to keep it that way. I like how Pearl and Francine’s friendship blossomed from the library into the school yard. The descriptions of both characters are exquisitely done, along with the marvellous illustrations by Jessixa Bagley. What I enjoyed the most was the second story that ran on the sidebars of the pages, the one that tells Mary Anne Mallomar’s version along with her life. Layer after layer was added, the mystery deepened, more colourful characters joined the cast and finally a decent ending. One that portrayed an aspect of reality to it all but kept the overall magic in place. A great read for bibliophiles and library lovers like me!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
“Reading is believing.”A girl, a raccoon, and the Midnight Moon
Title: Lost for words
Author: Aoife Walsh
Publication details: Anderson Press; London, 2019
What this book is about: Dallas Kelly knows there are some things she can’t change however much she wishes she could. Things like argumentative family members, mean girls at school – and the day her mum died. But when Dallas hears that her local library is going to be closed down forever, she decides it’s something she can change. Together with her friends Aiza and Ruby, and her freewheeling American Aunt Jessi, Dallas starts a campaign to save the library for everyone.
My review: What a cool story this was!! Set in picturesque Oxford, England, three young girls campaign to save their local library from closing. Amidst school scenes that tickle your funny bone and get your heart pounding with the bullying, we also get treated to some extensive family dramas. A very modern tale of campaigning that hits the cybersphere too and shows how much visibility one can give to pressing issues through online platforms and what effect they can have. This read a bit like a David vs Goliath story where Goliath is the council closing the library!! An exceptional read with hilarious characters and a good story about staying strong for what you believe in and being passionate about it.
My rating: 4 ⭐
“We want to save this library. People use it and they deserve it. Libraries are what makes people in this country equal, they’re all about equal these days….We need this.”Dallas Kelly
Oh this quote and heaps others throughout this book made my heart leap so much!! But the next one really had inspiration on every single page!!
Title: A kind of paradise
Author: Amy Rebecca Tan
Publication details: Harper; NY, 2019
What this book is about: Jamie Bunn made a mistake at the end of the school year. A big one that every kid in her middle school knows all about it. Now she has to spend her summer vacation volunteering at the local library – as punishment. It seems like a boring job to begin with but there are things beyond her control around the corner. Not only does her job bring her face-to-face with both her mortal enemy and her ultimate crush, but Jamie also encounters a territorial patron, an elderly movie fanatic, a super-tall painter who loves to bake, and a homeless dog. Over the course of the summer, as Jamie gets to know the library and the people in it, she finds – and gives – help where she least expects it. And she just might find herself along the way.
My review: What a lovely read this was!! Just like the others I’d read before, Jamie Bunn happens to be volunteering during a time when her local library’s future seems to hang in the balance. Armed with the dedicated staff and an army of loyal public supporters, Jamie finds herself fighting for Foxfield Public Library!! Set in a small picturesque Pennsylvanian town, this story made my heart flutter for not only did it have what I encounter every day, but a quirky and courageous young heroine in Jamie. I loved every single page and kept turning to find all sorts of cool nuggets of literary lore everywhere!! A really good storyline, pace and awesome characters. A great read for anyone who calls their local library their favorite place in the world!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
My favorite quotes:
“…Every item had it’s home, it’s own place to belong. It was like Sonia said – everything made sense in the library. There was a language that was easy to understand and an order that was easy to follow inside these walls.”Jamie Bunn
“All my yesterdays were my history, my story, and even though I’d turned the page, those yesterday’s stories were still there. I was composed of every single yesterday of my life, and they all added to right now. And every single day I woke up with the opportunity to be something, someone, new.”Jamie Bunn
I hope this selection of reads is inspirational and memorable for you!! If anyone has read any other books similar to this I’d love to hear from you!!