The Midnight Library

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
The Midnight Library Book Poster Image
Little-girl librarian helps animal friends in sweet story.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Celebrates books and libraries and reading. Teaches young readers about the different areas of a library (the quiet room, the activity room), how to choose a book, and the advantages of having a library card.

Positive Messages

Reading is fun! Librarians are helpful. Libraries are places of pleasure, with space both for quiet reading and for noisier group activities.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The little-girl librarian and her animal assistants cheerfully help all the animal visitors to the library, meeting all their different needs.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Midnight Library is a charming tale of a young pigtailed librarian and her animal friends. It’s set in a library open only from "midnight to dawn," and the very appealing three-color, blocky art has an old-fashioned feel that underscores the fun and mystery of the midnight hour. The story is simple: The little librarian helps out the animals who visit the library, directing noisy squirrels to the activity room, comforting a lone wolf who's reading a sad story, and issuing a library card to a slow-reading turtle. The tone is sweet and gentle, and everyone's a reader. 

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What's the story?

A little-girl librarian and her three owl helpers assist other animals in THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY, which is open only from "midnight to dawn." When the squirrel band plays loudly, they're ushered into the activity room. When a wolf is discovered crying in the stacks, they encourage her to keep reading until the happy ending. When a turtle still has 500 pages to read, they issue him a library card so he can finish his book at home. And, when the sun comes up, the little librarian reads a last, bedtime story to her now-very-sleepy owl assistants.

Is it any good?

Both the illustrations and the story in The Midnight Library are full of charm. The bold, blocky art is strikingly eye-catching. The little-girl librarian is charmingly pigtailed. The animals who visit the library all are pictured with their snouts in their books, engrossed in their reading. And, since the story ends with the little librarian reading her owl assistants a bedtime story, it's perfect for bedtime or naptime.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about libraries. What are the different things we can do there? Have you noticed different rooms or areas? What can you do in the activity room? How should you act in the reading room?

  • Do you like happy books or sad books, or both? What are your favorite types of books?

  • Do you have a library card? Do you want one? How do you get one? What can you do with it?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and books about libraries

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