Here Lies the Librarian

 
(i)

 

An enjoyable read rooted in historical realities.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

Some mean brothers tie an oily rag to a dog's tail and set it on fire. Later the brothers are peppered by a shotgun. One of them throws a wrench at Jake's head during a car race, causing a crash and injuries.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A mention of drunks coming out of the pool hall.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there's not much to be concerned about here beyond a little minor violence -- but no one is hurt too seriously.

What's the story?

Out in the sticks of Indiana just before WWI, Peewee has lived with her beloved older brother Jake since their parents' passing. They live hand to mouth, scraping out a living by repairing what few newfangled cars happen by their country shack, and looking forward to the day when the road will be paved, bringing them more business. But only if the Kirbys, who own the garage in town, don't run them out first with constant theft and vandalism.

Meanwhile, a gaggle of wealthy young ladies fresh from the School of Library Science at Butler U. have come to town. Finding the little town library closed since the last librarian was found expired \"with a fistful of library cards in her cold hand,\" they determine to reopen and improve it, simultaneously improving the town and, most especially, Peewee. But Peewee, content to work on cars, isn't so sure she wants to be improved.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With his last half-dozen novels, multi-award winning author Richard Peck has carved out for himself a new niche -- the rural Midwestern early 20th century comedy. This is another wonderful example of this one-man mini-genre: vivid characters (including adults, who are all too rare in children's books), lots of period detail, solid values, a nice mix of clever wit and broad comedy, independent girls, and an affectionately sardonic eye for the foibles of rural middle America, where the author grew up, all conveyed in some of the most carefully crafted prose in the business.

The whole book is a delight, made even more so -- in this age of 500 plus-page tomes aimed at 9 year olds -- by being tightly written and edited. Just to get things off to a rousing start, for example, Peck opens with a tornado that rips apart a graveyard, an event that sets the plot off in several different directions that wind their own ways for awhile before twisting together in a surprising but satisfying conclusion, followed by an even more satisfying final chapter set 60 years later.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how things have changed between the time period in which the book is set and today -- especially for girls and women. Also, why are these wealthy and well-educated women so eager to be librarians in this hick town? How does their presence affect the locals? How does it change Peewee?

Book details

Author:Richard Peck
Genre:Humor
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Dial Books
Publication date:April 30, 2006
Number of pages:208
Read aloud:9
Read alone:10

This review of Here Lies the Librarian was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old March 6, 2010
 
lots of facts on the auto industry in 1914. also the ways of life and variations of class are pointed out. i found it believable and humorous at points.
Kid, 11 years old January 3, 2012
 

It's A OK book....

Book is a bit slow starting out - after about 5 chapters is finally got better. Not one of the best I've read by Peck. To me the name doesn't fit the book.
Parent Written bypalmbeach April 5, 2012
 

Family research together

background could be researched of the times, women and their place in society

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