THE LIBRARY CARD by Jerry Spinelli


Age Range: 8 - 14
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Spinelli (The Bathwater Gang Gets Down to Business, 1992, etc.) has spun four disparate stories linked through the inanimate object that appears in each--a library card. As is true of the omniscient librarian who appears in some of the stories, the library card is supernatural. It imposes itself first on Mongoose, or Jamie, who with his 12-year-old friend shoplifts candy and makes mischief until he is pulled into an intoxicating world of learning. In "Brenda," broadly comic events occur when a TV-crazy teen has the plug pulled for a week. After such desperate moments as when she puts the rabbit ears of an absent television into her mouth, hoping to pick up signals, she begins to catch up on her life. In "Sonseray," a homeless drifter pays back his mean and lonely nephew by withholding details of the boy's dead mother, an unusual and powerful piece of cruelty. The last story shows two unlikely friends making a match. The realistic characters are funny and profound at times, and the prose occasionally invites readers to linger over a description. Spinelli is a shrewd storyteller, balancing lighter moments with provocative ones to meaningful effect. (Fiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-590-46731-X
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1997


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