Little Libraries, Big Heroes

HMH/Clarion. Sept. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544800274.
Gr 1-4–When he was young, Todd’s mom, a teacher, shared her love and enthusiasm for books with him and the children in their neighborhood. When she died, adult Todd got an idea. “He cut up an old door and hammered the pieces together to make a tiny one-room schoolhouse. He stacked books inside…and placed the little library on his lawn. Now he could share his mother’s love of reading with anyone who passed by.” A neighborhood rummage sale was the spark that got his neighbors to notice the little library, and it became the center of the community. Todd told his friend Rick Brooks, and they worked together to bring their idea to life. Eventually, they planted 30 little libraries across the Midwest. The media spread the word, and Little Free Libraries sprouted all over the U.S. and other countries, including Ireland, Pakistan, South Korea, and South Sudan. An author’s note provides more background information and celebrates the creators of these libraries. “Building materials have included an old TV set, a telephone booth, newspaper vending machines, a medicine cabinet, a mini-refrigerator, electronic waste, Lego bricks, and even a large block of ice!”
VERDICT The childlike acrylic illustrations and engaging text make this title accessible to young readers, but the story will appeal to and inspire all ages to join the movement. An important book recognizing a true everyday hero.

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