BooksForKidsBlog

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sharing the Wealth! Nia and the New Free Library by Ian Lendler

For as long as anyone could remember, the Littletown Library had been there. The people stopped paying attention to it. The librarian retired, and nobody noticed....

Finally a tornado passed through and took the old library away with it.

NO ONE QUITE KNEW WHAT TO DO WITH THE EMPTY SPACE.

Someone suggested a skyscraper. Another wanted a parking lot. Nia's idea was different.

"WE NEED TO REBUILD THE LIBRARY."

The mayor pooh-pooh her idea, saying that people just didn't read anymore. The banker thought it cost too much.

A DISTRACTED MOTHER SAID, "MY SON AND I GET EVERYTHING WE NEED ON LINE. I'M LEVEL 10!"

But Nia had a different idea. It took a while, but soon she had written a red wagon full of books. She asked the Grocer.

"THIS IS THE NEW FREE LIBRARY! "WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHECK OUT A BOOK?"

"HEY, YOU WROTE THIS WRONG?" SAID THE GROCER.

Everybody's a literary critic! Nia handed him a pencil and told him to fix the mistake, and he got busy.

"MY SON'S PHONE JUST DIED."SAID THE BUSY MOM. "COULD HE LOOK AT ONE OF YOUR BOOKS?"

A man complained that Nia's Where the Mild Things Are is not the right title.

And when the boy complained that the drawings were terrible, Nia gave him a pencil with a nice new eraser. Another person said Nia'a Sherlock story had the wrong ending, so she told him to write a new one. Everyone found out that writing and illustrating books is hard, but soon Nia has a conspicuous big pile of rewritten books. So the grocer gave her some empty crates for bookshelves. Others thought it would be good to have walls and a roof to keep the books dry. Everyone found some building materials and tool boxes to help.

"A GOOD LIBRARY HAS TO HAVE LIONS IN FRONT" SAID SOMEONE.

Somebody volunteered the lions from the facade of the bank.

"WAIT! WE NEED A LIBRARIAN!" SEVERAL SAID.

Many of them volunteered, a snazzy opening was scheduled, and soon the new library was filled with kids listening to stories and people checking out books and senior citizens learning to use computers.

A LIBRARY IS BUILT BY MANY HANDS!

And in Ian Lendler's just published Nia and the New Free Library (Chronicle Books, 2021), that's how Newtown soon had a fine new library. Artist Mark Pett's humorous caricatures of townspeople sets off wll Ian Lendler's deadpan rewriting of the classic folktale, Stone Soup. " "(A) charming, kid-friendly take on grassroots activism." says Shelf Awareness.

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