Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein

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Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: A group of kids have to prove their library benefactor, Luigi Lemoncello, hasn’t stolen intellectual property in a high-stakes trivia scavenger hunt.

What made me pick it up: It was recommended to me by a young reader from the library.

My favorite parts: This book is incredibly fun! Not only does Grabenstein weave in details from other children’s books but he makes his characters continuously profess their admiration for libraries and librarians. I’ll read any book that is essentially a love letter to my profession. But more than that, this book is wildly entertaining. Outlandish? Sure, but we’re dealing with a fictional bazillionaire here. I really liked how even though I expected things to turn out ok in the end, I wasn’t really sure they would and remained on the edge of my seat down to the final pages. It also has a nicely done information literacy storyline that emphasizes over and over to the characters the need to search for reliable sources and consider alternative explanations before jumping to conclusions. Since this is book #3, I’ll head back to the beginning and work my way through the other two books.

Who it’s great for: Upper elementary readers on up.

Erica’s rating: four and a half shells


Find this book in your local library or on Amazon (affiliate link).


 

National Library Week 2018

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It’s National Library Week! Time to celebrate our favorite community centers and workers. If you love libraries as much as we do feel free to send or tell your positive thoughts to your local library worker. No hugs or gifts are necessary. At the very least go visit your local library. Using library services is thanks enough.

Cheers,

Abby & Erica

If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don’t! by Elise Parsley

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Originally published in: 2017

What it’s about: A picture book about a child who promises to use her indoor voice and not make a mess if only she can bring her circus into the library.

What made me pick it up: I was looking for new books with faces on them for #bookfacefriday when I saw this and grabbed it off a cart to read because libraries.

My favorite things: This is hilarious! I totally understand the spunk of the main character and all of her sincere, if misguided, attempts to make a circus library friendly. Turns out the library isn’t the best place for a circus, but I loved the message of how reading stories is a good alternative. It also has vibrant illustrations.

Who it’s great for: Fans of libraries or circuses. Children who have great, if ill-advised, ideas.

Erica’s rating: four-shells


Find this title at Amazon(affiliate link) or in your local library.


 

The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora

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Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: A little boy and his brother visit the library for a quiet Saturday of reading, until a monster turns up.

What made me pick it up: I had placed Chris Hadfield’s children’s book The Darkest Dark on hold and OverDrive recommended this to me instead. It sounded good enough, and it was available, so I checked it out.

My favorite things: As a librarian I am always intrigued by books about libraries, and this picture book was no different. I really enjoyed the little boy helping the monster learn how fun reading and storytime are. Also there are donuts. Who can resist?

Who it’s great for: Library lovers of all ages. Littles who want to see a character who enjoys library visits, reading, and storytime as much as they do.

Erica’s rating: four-shells


Find The Not So Quiet Library and The Darkest Dark at Amazon (affiliate links) or your local library.


 

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

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Originally published in: 2016

What it’s about: Librarian Irene must travel to an alternate universe and retrieve a priceless book before someone else does. Oh, and she has to do it while supervising her possibly not-quite-human librarian trainee.

What made me pick it up: It was about a librarian, duh. Also, it was steampunk and that’s one of my favorite fantasy fiction variants.

My favorite things: This book is so much fun! I’ve already read the second in the series and am eagerly awaiting the third. Why is it fun? The main character is a total badass female superhero librarian. And it involves all manner of supernatural – dragons, magic, fairies, alternate worlds. Oh, it’s so good. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out something else will happen. Plus it’s a super quick read. You’ll turn the pages right to the end.

Who it’s great for: Teens. Adults. Anyone who enjoys a good fantasy novel. Those who like a strong female heroine. People interested in fun. If you read any of the Soulless books (and if you haven’t, you should) and want something equally entertaining. Fans of steampunk looking for more.

Erica’s rating: four-and-a-half-shells