Monday, April 28, 2014

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand

A few months ago, my friends' son asked this question: "Dad, is a univerthity where you go to learn to be a ninja, a knight or....a librarian?" Oh, my heart grew like the Grinch's.  And I had just learned this book was coming out, so I could say "Yes...oh yes."

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey is a fun, middle-grade book.  When Dorrie and her brother Marcus chase a pet mongoose into their local library, they find something pretty amazing: Petrarch's Library, the headquarters of a secret society of ninja librarians.  
Their mission is to protect those whose words get them into trouble, anywhere in the world and at any time in history.  People like Socrates.
Petrarch's Library can stop anywhere there's trouble, like the Spanish Inquisition, or ancient Greece. Dorrie really wants to join the society, and learn to fight with a real sword! But when she and Marcus become suspected of being traitors, can they clear their names before the only passage back to the twenty-first century closes forever?

Oh, I loved this.  Amazing for word nerds :-D  a) I love a book with a strong, female character; b) I love books about libraries, because, well...obvi; c) it's also good for guys, what with all the sword fights, and history and stuff.

It's kind of like the manga Library Wars (which is a favorite of mine)- fighting censorship and all.  But, like Library Wars mixed with The Phantom Tollbooth.  Has anyone read that?  It's one of my all-time favorite books, and in the city of Dictionopolis the characters can give a "speech" before dinner...and then they eat their words.  In Ninja Librarians, characters can read passages out of books to create their meals.  No lie, I used to stay up dreaming of what my speech would be...

It also, with all its time-traveling goodness, introduces various historical characters: Socrates, Saul/Paul, Timotheus, the real Cyrano de Bergerac, and others!

Entertaining and educational historical(ish) fiction for middle-grades!

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand is published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.  Review copy graciously provided by the publisher.  
Released: 04.15.2014

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