Friday, October 14, 2016

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey


ABOUT THE BOOK

Now official apprentices of the Lybrariad, Dorris and Marcus have joined Ebba in the immense time-folding labyrinth known as Petrarch's Library for the Summer Quarter.

Dorrie is eager to do well at her practicums, and prove her worth as an apprentice, but before she can choose between "Spears, Axes, and Cats: Throwing Objects with Precision and Flair” and "First and Last Aid: When No One Else Is Coming", mistakes made by Dorrie in the past cause trouble for the lybrarians.

The Foundation, once nearly destroyed by the Lybrariad, now has the means to rise from its ashes, and disappear reading and writing from the world. To make sure it succeeds, the Foundation sets in motion a dark plan to increase the power of a cruel figure from the fifteenth century.

To stop the Foundation, Dorrie, Marcus and Ebba will have to burglarize Aristotle, gather information among the suffragists and anti-suffragists of 1912 London, and risk their lives to wrest a powerful weapon out of the Foundation's hands - all while upholding the Lybrariad's first principle of protecting all writing, appreciated or despised. If they fail, reading and writing will only be the first things to disappear.

REVIEW

Dorrie and Marcus are delighted to be back in Petrarch's Library, as welcome apprentices this time.  But things aren't going as well for the Lyrariad as they would have hoped, and Dorrie feels partially responsible, since she and Marcus lost the page from the History of Histories that may lead the Foundation to change the past in seriously dangerous ways.  But in-between worrying about the Foundation's activities, Dorrie and her friends focus on learning from their classes.  Dorrie and her friends also discover a new ghost library where they work on helping Marcus and Dorrie fix past mistakes and make plans for stopping the Foundation's latest plot.  The thing that I like about this series is the way that historical characters and events are blended into the story.  For example, for one class, Dorrie and Ebba are assigned to help protect the efforts of an anti-suffrage group who they heartily disagree with when they would much rather help the suffragist they befriend along the way.  Can they find a way to do both?  I also love the idea of Lyrarians out in the world protecting free speech/intellectual freedom.  This is a fun series for children who love unusual libraries.  This is along the same lines as Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, except with more serious themes and sword play.



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