On the night before his eighth birthday, the boy in this story is given a book by his parents. This makes him unhappy since he would rather have gotten toys or movies. During the night, a lion appears outside of his window and whisks him away on a journey to the New York Public Library. At the library, the books take on a life of their own, magically reminding the boy of books his grandfather read to him when he was younger. The boy's memories of reading with his grandfather provide him with a renewed appreciation for books.
This story is magical and imaginative as the lion statues outside the entrance to the New York Public Library come to life within the book. In the Author's Note at the end, the author provides information about the two lion statues named Patience and Fortitude. The inspiration for the book came from the author's visits to the library and his childhood perception that the lions were magical. Both those who have visited the library and seen the lion statues and those who haven't will find the lions within this book enchanting.
In the classroom, this book will spark discussions about reading and the joy of books. Students may also wonder and want to discuss whether the boy actually went on a journey to the library or he simply had a dream. Naturally, this book is one worth sharing to spark interest in the wonders of libraries.
Thanks to the publisher, Random House, for providing my book review group,
#BookExcursion, with a review copy of this book.
The book publishes in April.