I love stories about libraries and librarians, but this one actually had me teary-eyed. Based on the real-life experience of the author, it tells the story of a little girl who finds a safe place of acceptance in the library. Lydia's family moves from Colorado to Iowa as her father searches for a new job. They rotate through staying with various relatives, but she feels that "Nowhere had a special spot just for me."
Then, her mother takes all the kids to the library and there is space for everyone to explore and make up stories with the puppets or watch people going by outside the large windows. And, best of all, "my new friend. She had kind eyes, a gentle face, and a laugh like bubbles. That friend was the Librarian."
Lovely illustrations highlight the differences between all the homes the family visits. Readers can see Aunt Linda's house where you shouldn't touch any of the "nice things...that aren't yours." Storage boxes and ductwork lurk in the shadows behind the couch in Cousin Alice's basement. And an empty playground sits near Grandma's house. And they share scenes of how Lydia and her new friend shared stories and imagination during every library visit.
For book lovers and library fans everywhere, this story shows how librarians can make a welcoming place for everyone - and even inspire youngsters to grow up and become librarians themselves. An introductory letter from Ira Glass, closing letter from author Lydia, and photos of Lydia as a child and then as an adult reunited with her librarian friend all ground the story and make stronger connections between the book and the reader.
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