The Tiny Hero of Ferny Creek Library

illus. by Victoria Jamieson. 336p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jun. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780062440938.
Gr 3–5—Eddie is a beetle who lives with his family in a crack in the wall of the fourth grade classroom at Ferny Creek Elementary School. When his book-loving Aunt Min fails to return from her most recent trip to the school library, Eddie sets out to search for her, only to find her injured, hungry, and marooned atop the librarian's desk. Hiding out in the paper tray, the bugs overhear a disturbing phone conversation between the substitute librarian and the school superintendent: their plan is to close the library and turn it into a testing center. As they watch Miss Visch start packing away the books, Eddie hatches a plan involving blueberry juice, licorice, and yellow sticky notes. Using his legs to write messages, he leaves the notes stuck to books on the shelves, raising suspicion that the benign ghost of a former library volunteer is interceding to save the library. The obvious message is pleasantly tempered by subtle humor, many references to beloved children's books, and themes that celebrate bravery, perseverance, and storytelling. There's lots of action as Eddie faces dangers navigating the world of "squishers" who may trample him at any moment. The writing is breezy and accessible, and children will enjoy the bug's-eye view. A bibliography of referenced titles is included.
VERDICT Despite the length, this is a good choice for younger readers and would work well as a classroom read-aloud.

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