“Here Lies the Librarian” – Does This One Have the Same Charm as “A Year Down Yonder”?

Book Review : Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck

Spoiler Alert!

Who knew how much one twister could change a town? The roaring wind unearthed many graves in the cemetery revealing more than Peewee ever wanted to see of some of her deceased neighbors. The storm didn’t dare disturb the librarian, Miss Dietz, who died with a fistful of library cards in her cold hand. In a way, it was the storm which brought in a refined young lady, Irene Ridpath, and her friends, who drove into town in a Stoddard-Dayton to discover that the library was closed. They quickly set about rectifying that situation, but they set their eyes on a whole lot more. To Peewee’s mortification she had to wear a dress, Jake’s hand built automobile was stolen, the Kirby’s are put in their place by a girl, a dangerous race is won (but the prize money is stolen) and Eleanor has to grow up and get an education.

Adult Point of View

Richard Peck has a fun way of capturing a time period. Here Lies the Librarian is full of unusual colloquialisms and idiosyncrasies. It is interesting to see how anticipating a paved road could change and entire small town. Peewee desperately wants to be a mechanic and helps run a garage with Jake. It is quickly revealed that Peewee is a red-headed girl named Eleanor. When Irene comes into town she takes Peewee under her wing to help her grow up. One of the fun side stories in this novel is all the old cars. I loved the Cadillac slogan : Crank from your seat, Not from the street. One of my favorite parts in the book is the automobile race when Eleanor has to take over driving for her brother because a wrench had been thrown at him hitting him in the head by a Kirby.

Even though I enjoyed Here Lies the Librarian I have to admit I enjoyed A Year Down Yonder and A Long Way From Chicago more. I missed the strong personality of Grandma present in Peck’s other series. I felt like Here Lies the Librarian was more disconnected in the plot which needed to be tied together. The common element was the narrative from Peewee/Eleanor but, it seemed like an element was missing (perhaps an adult presence, like her brother would have given a richer perspective) .

I laughed out loud several times and still recommend this novel when you want something fun and light. I have listed this as both a children’s book and adult’s because the grown ups will love it too.

3.5 out of 5 stars


– Michelle

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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