Okay, so I have a confession to make. I still get crushes. It’s not like when I was in grade school and my friends and I were all in love with the actors from The Outsiders. Now, I find authors who I feel write really well and whose stories touch a part of my heart or brain that others don’t, and I just want to keep reading their books. I have started calling these my “librarian crushes.”
My latest and greatest librarian crush is on an author by the name of Gary D Schmidt. I first read his book The Wednesday Wars (available in Hill Top’s library) a little over a year ago and loved it. I actually went online looking for contact information to see if I could write him a letter, and then asked my friends if this was stalker behavior or if it was okay to do. I’ve sent emails before to authors (to Marcus Zusak who wrote The Book Thief and to Joshilyn Jackson who I’ve mentioned here before). I also tried to convince Mr. Cohen to change the entire 7th grade curriculum so that this book could be the centerpiece of it all. He didn’t go for it. So when Mr. Cohen asked for my help to pick a summer reading book, I checked out a whole bunch of books by Mr. Schmidt, hoping to find one that might work for the summer. I loved them all, but they weren’t quite right for summer reading assignments.
So last week I was looking through the online catalog for a book to download on my Nook, and I saw that they had his newest book Okay for Now, which is a “companion” book to The Wednesday Wars. That means that it takes one of the sort of side characters from that book and gives him his own story. This story is so good! Every so often I read a book and have this strange reaction: I’m torn between wanting to just plow through the book to find out what happens and wanting to read it really slowly so I can make the story last longer. This is a great story about what it’s like to have people make judgements about you based on things that have nothing to do with you (like, say, judging you by what your brother does or by where you live). It’s about dealing with people who dislike you for no apparent reason. It’s about learning to trust people who want to get to know you and help you find your talents. Of course, the fact that one of the “good guys” in the book is the town librarian helps! The librarian has a great line towards the end of the book, ‘”I am a librarian,’ he said. ‘I always know what I’m talking about.'”
Do, if you’ve been paying attention, this means that Zombies vs. Unicorns got pushed to the side a little bit. But I’m back to that, and loving it. And I’ve downloaded Mr. Popper’s Penguins onto my Nook. I have no interest in seeing the movie, but I’ve never read the book so I thought I’d give it a shot. It’s short. I read half of it the other night while waiting to meet a friend for dinner. I’m hoping to finish both that and Z v U this weekend.