Book Review and Kid Lit Blog Hop
There are librarians, and there are ninja books. Sounds like two subjects that are pretty far apart, doesn’t it?
So, what’s so special about the Ninja Librarian?
It’s not so much Wild West as the Middle of Nowhere. Skunk Corners. A place with a library, but the locals are darned if anyone is actually going to use it. So every librarian is run out of town in a week, if not by sundown. Until Tom arrives. The Ninja Librarian.
It’s a series of short stories that link closely together, making it an easy read, but a compelling one. Big Al is the schoolteacher and she soon finds Tom is her greatest, if enigmatic, ally. The tales are deftly told, uncovering a civilising process that spins through the town from junior schoolkid to the mayor and the preacher. The adventure with the steam engine. Working together to allay the flood. The Fourth of July picnic complete with fireworks even though the town can’t afford them. The stories are well crafted and the personalities shine through.
About three-quarters of the way through the tale changes subtly from a series of events to a journey of self-discovery – for the town more than the individuals. Maybe it reflects the narrator’s growth. Big Al – I like her style! The disparate characters start to develop their skills and find the good parts of their neighbours, rather than living in isolation. In a way it detracts from the enjoyment, there feels a little too much emphasis on transformation, but the ingenuity of some of the stories makes up for that. There are nice touches with motifs such as Tom’s catchphrase, and the whole thing comes together to make you feel you kinda know Skunk Corners. From being a desolate place in the back of beyond, you start to think you might like to live there after all.
I wonder if that completely answers your question. Well, it’ll have to, unless you want spoilers!
The Ninja Librarian by Rebecca M Douglass, who admits to being a librarian.
This book is one of the prizes in our Princelings A to Z Giveaway. 10 ebooks and a paperback to be won, all for Middle Grade (9+ years) readers. Runs throughout April. See details by clicking the button top right or just click to enter!