Title: Here Lies the Librarian
Author: Richard Peck
Publication Info: Dial Books, 2006, 160 pages.
Source: Library digital resources
Peewee idolizes Jake, a big brother whose dreams of auto mechanic glory are fueled by the hard road coming to link their Indiana town and futures with the twentieth century. And motoring down the road comes Irene Ridpath, a young librarian with plans to astonish them all and turn Peewee’s life upside down.This novel, with its quirky characters, folksy setting, classic cars, and hilariously larger-than-life moments, is vintage Richard Peck – an offbeat, deliciously wicked comedy that is also unexpectedly moving.
Richard Peck's historical fiction served in part as inspiration when I wrote my Ninja Librarian stories. I first read this one after I'd written at least the first book, which is maybe just as well, because if I'd read this first, I might have given up and left the librarians to Peck.
Actually, it's not the librarians that leave me in awe of Peck's writing. It's the way he makes the language stand up and do double service. Every word is spot on, for the story and the characters and the way he wants us to feel about them. I also love the way Peewee comes around from celebrating having been banned for life from the library to loving it and reading all sorts of books. Of course, when we find that the banishment was for--gasp!--wanting to take a book home, some things start to make more sense.
My only objection here might be the usual one, that Peewee is forced to grow up, which seems to require leaving certain dreams behind. But of course, we all *are* required to grow up--and in this case, Peewee at least makes the decisions about what dreams will go and what will stay, for the most part--the process doesn't feel as externally imposed as in some books (see my review of A Stitch in Time, for example.
I will always recommend Richard Peck's work, for anyone from about age 9 up. His balance of humor and serious issues is pitch-perfect, in my opinion, and his books should encourage reluctant readers to keep turning pages.
FTC Disclosure: I checked Here Lies the Librarian out of my library, and received nothing from the writer or publisher for my honest review. The opinions expressed are my own and those of no one else. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The Smashwords Summer/Winter sale ends Wednesday, so head on over and get my books for bargain-basement prices.