Growing up in the Library, a guest post by Nicole Lesperance
When I was twelve years old, my mother got a job as the children’s librarian at the small library in our town. As a person who spent most of her life with her nose buried in a book, I was absolutely thrilled. Now I had access to all the books I could possibly read, and my mom could even pick new ones up for me anytime she went to work. What could be better?
As it turned out, there was a lot more to being the child of a librarian. Sure, there were days where I hid myself away in my secret chair in the large-print section, devouring books where nobody could find me. There were lazy summer afternoons when my sister and I would walk down to the village store by the library, buy candy and Cokes in glass bottles, and then spend our afternoons lazing around the building’s front porch or in the stacks.
But there were also so many community projects and events. When my mom took charge of the children’s room, she decided to turn the big window seat into a “boat” for kids to hang out in. She found someone handy to build a wooden boat frame on side of the window seat, and soon there was a comfy space filled with stuffed sea creatures and life jackets so kids could drift away on stories and their imaginations. My mom also spent a lot of time planning her story hours, and my sister and I were often the guinea pigs for various crafting projects and innumerable felt boards.
Every June, the summer reading program would roll around. On Wednesday evenings, everyone would bring their reading logs to the library, and there would be some kind of performance, whether it was a storyteller or jugglers or musicians. My mom would host the events, while I and another volunteer would take all of the reading logs, tally them up, and assign raffle tickets to the kids based on how many hours they read. I thought I was a pretty serious reader, but some of these kids put me to shame! Sometimes there were scavenger hunts around the library, with research questions to find the clues. The kids would all beg me for hints, and I’d always oblige.
What struck me the most about these events was the wonderful sense of community, the small town feel, and the cozy, safe, and welcoming space that the library provided. My mom watched the kids who came to her infant story time grow up, get married, and bring their own kids in for story time. I, too, went to college, moved away, and started my own family. But I loved bringing my kids back to visit the library, where they’d climb into that boat window seat, read stories, and get to help my mom check out books for the other patrons.
My mom has since retired, but I’ll always remember her library fondly. It ended up being so much more than just a place to get books (and not have to pay late fees!). It was a home away from home for me and so many other people. The staff and volunteers made sure everyone felt welcome, and they always knew just how to put the right book in the right person’s hands.
I’m so grateful for my memories of library, and I’m certain that growing up in that book-filled environment is a big part of how I became an author. Now that my own books are on library shelves, it feels like things have come full circle. And I know my books couldn’t possibly be in better hands.
Meet the author
Nicole Lesperance grew up on Cape Cod, the child of a librarian, and graduated from Wesleyan University. She spent a few years in London and now lives near Boston with her husband, two kids, and two rambunctious black cats. She writes young adult and middle grade novels, and her books have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and BCCB. In her spare time, she likes to practice yoga, knit, and read tarot cards.
About The Depths
A tropical island full of secrets. Two Victorian ghosts, trapped for eternity. And a seventeen-year-old girl determined not to be next.
Eulalie Island should be a paradise, but to Addie Spencer, it’s more like a prison.
Forced to tag along to the remote island on her mother’s honeymoon, Addie isn’t thrilled about being trapped there for two weeks. The island is stunning, with its secluded beaches and forests full of white flowers. But there’s something eerie and unsettling about the place.
After Addie meets an enigmatic boy on the beach, all the flowers start turning pink. The island loves you, he tells her. But she can’t stop sleepwalking at night, the birds keep calling her name, and there’s a strange little girl in the woods who wants to play hide-and-seek. When Addie learns about two sisters who died on the island centuries ago, she wonders if there’s more to this place, things only she can see.
Beneath its gorgeous surface, Eulalie Island is hiding dark, tangled secrets. And if Addie doesn’t unravel them soon, the island might never let her go.
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/13/2022
Age Range: 14 – 17 Years
Filed under: Guest Post
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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