During my recent sojourn to far Numenor, I had a long layover in the Gondor airport and, as a result, came up with two new books which I’d like to recommend to you.
The first is Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book”. This book just won the Newbury Award for Young Adult fiction and, may I say, it richly deserves it. Although I knew of the author, I hadn’t read any of his work before and I was blown away by his poetic, lyrical story-telling.
Briefly, “The Graveyard Book” is the story of Nobody Owens, a young boy who escapes the murder of his family as a toddler, and is watched over and brought up by a graveyard full of ghosts. But why was he targeted for death and why is the man Jack still hunting him? A dark, but not scary story in which vampires and werewolves are the heroes.
The second involves cats and libraries so you know that it’s just irresistable to librarians. “Dewey: the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World” by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter is, on one level, a biography of the title feline, Dewey, who was found as a kitten in a book return in Spencer, Iowa in 1988. Myron, the director, and the library staff adopt Dewey who becomes the mascot of the library. On another level, however, it is also the story of how a library (and its librarians) can rally a town and serve as its community center. The struggles of Vicki to keep Dewey, the library, her community, and herself going despite hard economic times, personal loss, and petty-minded, small-town politics will ring true to librarians everywhere. A word to the wise: don’t read this book on the plane as you will find yourself sobbing at the end.