Ten: Finding the Library in the Book

Welcome to our new Saturday series: our own take on the Top Ten* list. Many of our reviews so far have come from themed reading lists that we assembled for class. Our Saturday posts will provide similar 10-title lists on various themes. However, while the lists will note briefly why each title is included, the titles will not be reviewed. They will, however, be linked to reviews elsewhere in the blog over time, so you’ll be able to read more about titles that interest you. This week’s theme is “Finding the Library in the Book.”

* One more note: These lists are not intended to suggest that the titles presented are the best on the subject. Each list will be compiled based on personal experience and research, and will include only books that we enjoyed for one reason or another. However, our time and reach are limited, and we very much welcome additional recommendations!

In celebration of libraries, we recommend:

The Gentleman Bug by Julian Hector
When the Gentleman bug, an unassuming but beloved teacher, falls for a new Lady bug in town, he tries everything to get her attention. Nothing works, until he discovers that she’s to be the town’s librarian, and the two bond over stories.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore written by William Joyce and illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Mr. Morris Lessmore finds himself in a library whose living books need him not only to care for them, but also to share them with the people who will love them best. To experience the story fully, check out the app and the short film, as well.

Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
Emily’s story depends, in part, on the books that are shipped to her house when her mother decides to begin their town’s first public library.

The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson
In the midst of the stress of moving to a strange country to escape WWII and a difficult home life, Norah finds a place of peaceful escape at her local library. Pearson says that the story was inspired in part by a librarian’s story of reading to newly-arrived guest children.

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
The four Souls, the protagonists of the novel, develop their friendship through weekly tea parties at one character’s father’s bed and breakfast. Their invitation to the first tea is delivered through the library’s copy of Alice in Wonderland.

Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda’s family is dreadful, but the library provides her with a window on a world bigger and kinder than the one she knows at home. The librarian (Mrs. Phelps), willing to follow Matilda’s lead in finding the right sort of books, is a credit to her profession.

The Game by Monica Hughes
Wanting to develop skills as well as stamina in preparation for their next turn at The Game, Lisse and her friends seek means of educating themselves. As Unemployeds, they are not allowed to access recent, electronically-delivered information, but they do discover lots of resources at the local library–even if the librarians are terrified of their new patrons.

A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle
Vicky Austin’s close relationship with her grandfather is shaped by their shared love of poetry. That love is grounded, in this novel, in her grandfather’s extensive personal library.

This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel
Twins Victor and Konrad Frankenstein, and their cousin Elizabeth, discover a secret library full of forbidden knowledge beneath the twins’ home. Their determination to access and understand its contents forms the foundation of their adventures.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Harry, Ron and Hermione head to the Hogwarts library whenever they need to do a bit of research about a spell or a new challenge. Polyjuice potion, anyone?

Is there a theme you’d like to see covered in a future Ten post?

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