|Girl, a raccoon, and the midnight moon
Author: Young, Karen Romano
Eleven-year-old Pearl Moran cannot imagine life without the historic but under-utilized branch of the New York Public Library where she was born (in the Memorial Room) and where her single mother works as the circulation librarian; the other librarians, the neighborhood people, the raccoons, and most of the 41,000 plus books all form the structure and essence of her life--but when someone cuts off the head of the library's statue of Edna St. Vincent Millay she realizes that the library is under attack, and it is up to her to save it.
|Accelerated Reader Information:
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.30
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 508135
Kirkus Reviews (09/15/19)
School Library Journal (12/01/19)
The Hornbook (00/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2019 Gr 5 Up—Pearl's scream out the window of the Lancaster Avenue Public Library brings everyone running. The head of the courtyard statue of a favorite local poet is missing. Thus begins the search for Edna St. Vincent Millay's head and the battle to keep Pearl's beloved library branch open. The city wants to sell the building to real estate developers, but Pearl is not about to let that happen. Her mother is the circulation librarian; Pearl has grown up among the stacks. If it closes, what will happen to them—or to her friends who have practically raised her, or the reading raccoons, actual raccoons who read and write and live in the basement? Pearl learns new talents and makes new friends as she fights to make her library branch important to the rest of her community. Young has crafted a story about a library that quickly needs to become the hub it once was in order to survive. She keeps the story light with talking, or rather reading and writing, raccoons, but it still touches on complex issues of family dynamics, homelessness, and community. The text can be dense at times, and the character's solution a bit twisty, but the story is solidly entertaining. VERDICT Upper elementary readers who like magical realism will enjoy this novel, as will younger readers at high reading levels. A strong addition to the fiction section.—Julie Overpeck, Gardner Park Elementary School, Gastonia, NC - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 01/01/2020 Kicking off this literary whodunit is a piercing scream, which can be traced to 10-year-old Pearl upon her discovery that the library’s beloved Edna St. Vincent Millay statue is missing its head. This act of vandalism serves as the catalyst for a number of events that subsequently transpire in Pearl’s New York City neighborhood. The local library, of which her mother is the head librarian, is struggling and in very real danger of being converted into apartments. Pearl refuses to let this happen and endeavors to track down the vandal and drum up community support for the library. Young incorporates a number of realistic themes into her story, ranging from the challenges of making friends and accepting change to gentrification and homelessness. However there is also a fantasy element that not every reader will buy: literate raccoons. Those willing to suspend their disbelief will be charmed by the reading raccoons and the many sidebars that one contributes to the book itself. Issue- rather than plot-driven, this slower-paced mystery is for the thoughtful and bookish. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.