What is a girl to do when her parents are off on a trip to Europe and have left her in the care of a nanny who spends all her time visiting her own friends and dragging her charge along like excess luggage? Well, Lenora waits for the right moment and then makes a break for it. Being a smart girl our protagonist makes her move while they are at the library (so the nanny can check out a book to show off to her friends). As she searches for the children's section, Lenora encounters a strange arch that leads her to the ultimate library. When she is made the "fourth assistant apprentice librarian," her adventures really begin.
Between helping patrons from the future, rescuing stranded penguins, finding lost kittens, and other amazing help desk assignments, Lenora encounters menacing figures in bowler hats who seem intent on preventing patrons from using the library. The head librarian, Malachi, tells her these characters are the "Forces of Darkness" and have always been around. Holding to the belief that "Knowledge is Light," Lenora does her best to fight the insidious actions of the dark. As she tells two of the figures when they point out she is just a child, "I'm also a librarian. And I'm not going to hide the truth from anyone."
Lenora's research into patron queries will have readers learning about Leap Day and Leap Years, the tallest mountain in the world, the ancient Egyptian goddess Bast, and tardigrades. They will also encounter robots, beluga whales, ant colonies, and various other wonders that will spark interest in new and exciting subjects to research for themselves.
This middle grade tale is a good match for fans of The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey, or readers who enjoy books about books such as Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library or The Book Scavenger.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
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