The Story Collector

272p. (New York Public Library). Holt. Aug. 2018. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781250143808.
Gr 4–6—This vibrant historical mystery is based on real people and true events. Viviani Joffre Fedeler lives in the New York Public Library. As the daughter of the library's superintendent, the stacks are her playground. When an expensive display of stamps is stolen, Vivani, her brothers, and her friend Eva try to solve the mystery. To complicate matters, they also think the library might be haunted by the spirit of a careless construction worker. When Viviani shares a little too much about her adventures at school, she draws the negative attention of worldly new student, Merit. She wants desperately to prove the ghost is real, solve the crime, and win Merit's approval, but her questionable methods will leave readers chuckling. Viviani's rambunctious nature makes her a heroine young readers will cheer for. Each chapter begins with a Dewey Decimal designation that provides a clue to what's coming in the next chapter, and black-and-white illustrations throughout help capture the feel of the Roaring 20s setting.
VERDICT A love letter to libraries and bibliophiles of all ages, this novel sings with warmth and charm; a good choice for most middle grade mystery collections.

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