These are two super-short, fun, lower science-fantasy middle grade reads perfect for rounding out your summer reading!
Book 1, Library of Ever: Lenora's perfectly horrid mother stops by the library and she's sucked into a portal revealing a whole new realm: The Library of Ever, where Malachi, Chief Answerer, offers her a coveted apprenticeship. She gets a name badge and everything, with the title: Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian. As Lenora's 10 and free from juggling the demands of kids, a mortgage, student loan debt, and all the things that accompany adulthood on a librarian's salary, this is ... awesome!
For once, Lenora feels like she matters, like she can make a difference in the age-old battle of knowledge versus ignorance. Of course, her understanding is a bit simpler than that, to start: Knowledge is light, and it's constantly fighting the Forces of Darkness.
Which is exactly what Lenora does, by working the Help Desk for Calendars and fullfiling a series of bizarre patron requests that require she stretch her mind and abilities to their fullest, and includes travelling 8,000 years into the future.
As she fullfills each new patron's request, getting shrunk and enlargened, enlisting ants for help, finding kittens and more, she advances a rank, and comes ever closer to meeting her enemy and nemesis, the man in the black bowler hat, the seeming mastermind of the Forces of Darkness.
This is a quick read, perfect for science-fantasy lovers who aren't bound by the limits of the real. Wonderful fun!
Book 2: Rebel in the Library of Ever. After completing her mission, attaining the title of Librarian, and exiting the library in the first book, Lenora's spends what feels like ages looking for the portal at the IRL library again, but it just never seems to appear. Then one day she spies a crying librarian carrying a box of her things out of the library. She's been sacked, she has nothing else to lose, and she lets Lenora in.
The Forces of Darkness have clearly been at work, all this time, and they're putting in overtime.
Malachi's been demoted, but at least she's still there, hanging on. Most of the other librarians are gone. The books are gone from the shelves. The light is shrouded in darkness. Constantly broadcasting screens proclaim the library Director has "turned the library around" for the "better," of course, and it's "turning a profit" for the first time. (shudder)
Lenora meets the Director's young daughter, who fiercely believes her Daddy is an excellent library Director, but she's bored senseless with nothing to do in the empty, dark rooms and hallways. Lenora drags her along as she susses out what's happened to the Library, finds a safe space where the Forces won't follow and the remaining rebellious librarians can meet and strategize, and finally takes on the three worst forces of Ignorance.
This was a fun romp and conclusion to the first book, and a great way to end your summer reading. Enjoy!