Common Sense Media says

A mysterious library card affects four lives.

Users say

(out of 10 reviews)
age 9+
Review this title!
Teen, 13 years old Written byBrick128 January 23, 2011
i like 3 og the 4 stories i dident like soanary
Teen, 13 years old Written bychickie94 April 9, 2008

Amust read book for everyone

These incredible stories are amazing! It a is all about 4 childrene and how there lives get affected by this library card. I really liked the book !! You should all read it. It's great!!
Teen, 13 years old Written byBookWorm94 April 9, 2008


This book wasn't the best. It didn't make that much sense, because none of the stories connected in any way except for them all finding a library card at some point. This wasn't one of Jerry Spenelli's best...
Kid, 12 years old January 4, 2017

This is a pretty good book.

This book is about 4 kids: Mongoose, Brenda, Sonseray, and April. Mongoose vandalizes with his friend. When he gets his library card he shows an interest in non fiction books. When he gets this library card, he has to deal with his friend who thinks his interest in books is stupid. Brenda is obsessed with TV. She rarely does anything besides watch it. When she gets her library card she starts to learn more about herself, who she never paid much attention to. Her life revolved around a TV screen. This story teaches you that you can always learn more about yourself and pay attention to you. Sonseray is homeless and lives with his uncle in a van. His mother abandoned him long before. Sonseray is a violent child and the library card lets him remember his best childhood memory. April has moved to a new place, much different from the city. She gets made fun of at school. She then enters a book mobile which the library card sends to her. She learns about the hijacker and the reason she hijacked. This story teaches you that people act up and do things for a reason. It's your job to understand them. I was honestly disappointed with the parent reviews. Yes, the book deals with cutting, vandalism, and hitchhiking but also teaches kids about real life situations. You've got to face it. The world isn't all happy and smiley as you want your kids to believe it is. Kids are out there homeless. These are things that kids have to learn about. I also love how it shows how books can change someones life. That library card brought the children happiness and a sense of adventure, which none of them had before. Though, I do wish the book connected the children in a way. Like, maybe Brenda and Mongoose went to the same school. Sonseray's van could be located in the same neighbourhood. April could also start school where Brenda and Mongoose did. They probably wouldn't be friends, but maybe they could mention each other in each story. After the library cards effect, they could be the good kids in each persons story. I also wish the book was longer.
Teen, 15 years old Written bybookwormwriter November 10, 2011

Not the best...

I must admit, this isn't what I expected. It was a little boring, and I didn't enjoy reading it. I finished all the stories, but I was disappointed. It does give a good view of books and libraries, but it wasn't Spinelli's best. Nightmare at the Book Fair by Dan Gutman had the same 'lesson', and it was really fun to read. In the end, I was disappointed that I'd wasted my time. All the same... Happy reading! :)
Teen, 17 years old Written byirockandrool April 16, 2010

Great for 9 and up kids: not really for 9 and down children.

I have to mention that this book is a great book for kids older then 9 years of age. I love this book very much and want every child to read this book. Maybe even tomorrow. Kids you might not and might like this book very much like i do right now at this moment.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 8 year old Written byChristianmommy November 18, 2009

Great handbook for delinquents!

Hated this. Angry it was given to my 3rd grader. For all of the questionable youth activity: Repeated Shoplifting and Vandalism, Defying all teacher, adult and parenting relationships, quitting/skipping school, cutting, hijacking and hitchhiking to name only a few! All with no real consequences... Poorly strung together, it is more of a handbook for delinquency than shining example of how books can save people. Forget about any sense of morals or authority figures helping troubled kids!
Parent of a 6 and 8 year old Written byBnWsMom November 6, 2009

Good book for middle grades

This book was so-so. Overall it has a positive message about the value of books/the library - however that positive message is only inferred so the reader must be mature enough to recognize it. This book also has some mature themes - it infers that one of the characters may be suicidal, a couple other characters shoplift and vandalize. Another character is homeless and lives in a car with his uncle. These dark themes tend to overshadow the positive message. Additionally, the imagery and figurative language used by the author is somewhat complex and the reader would need to have the maturity level to comprehend it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 10 year old Written byMissStephie September 25, 2009

Better books written regarding the value of library cards.

The book was chosen for our Mother/Daughter Book Group (ages 8-12). It was a disappointment. As a librarian I think stories could have been written in a more positive way regarding library cards.
Teen, 16 years old Written byZac1164 April 9, 2008