I loved this book. It was so much fun. The author weaves classics, fantasy titles, science fiction, mythology and crime dramas into the story as well as some novels he created just for this work.
Isaac Vainio is a librarian in a small town library. He is happy with his daily duties helping his patrons and cataloging though the library director doesn’t know what to think of his pet spider be carries with him everywhere, Scorch. He is also a libriomancer, a member of a secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw out objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that have leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape with his life. Then he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users and Johannes Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of beautiful dryad, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. His search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. He will have to make some difficult choices to save lives and possibly all of humanity.
Isabelle Bean was not really interested in schoolwork as this story begins, gets in trouble, and sent to the principal’s office. However, she stopped to help a wounded boy to the nurses’s office first, which is where interesting things begin to happen. She “dropped in” to another time period, where she was at first thought to be a witch by some children at a camp where she landed. She escaped them and walked through the woods until she met an old lady who lived there. This lady, Grete, taught Isabelle and the girl who followed her, Hen, many medicinal uses for the plants around them.
The girls went back to the children’s camp and found most of them very ill. Using the knowledge of plants they had learned from Grete, they began to heal them. Needing more help, Samantha headed back to Grete, but found her dying from a poisonous plant she had been fed accidently.
Some children from camp followed the girls and wanted to kill the “witch” but were talked out of it by Isabelle. They learned Grete’s advice had saved the children’s lives. All ended well and Elizabeth was going to try to bring her mother to meet Greta, her own mother.
The author relates his life long search for the First Folios of Shakespeare. The first collection of Shakespeare’s plays published after his death. He shares the history of different copies of the Folio and in some cases can only share the search and known characteristics of still missing copies.
A look at why people steal books: love of the book or author, profit or prestige of owning a collection. For unrepentant book thief John Gilkey steals to accumulate a collection to prove he is a “gentleman” because in his deluded mind it’s only fair – if he wants it the world should give it to him. The world including individuals, libraries and book sellers that he sees as keeping him from what is rightly his.
Almost as obsessive is Ken Sanders who is driven to catch him and has helped connect book dealers to alert each other about book thiefs and their methods. The author Allison Bartlett talks to both dealers including Sanders and interviews Gilkey trying to understand what makes some people stop at nothing to posses the titles they love even after jail time.
From Cover to Cover is an excellent resource for anyone who talks about, reviews or purchases children’s books. It has clear and concise chapters on every type of children’s book: nonfiction, poetry, chapter books, picture books, etc. While the subtitle states this book is about evaluating and review, the majority of the book is on evaluating books. Reviewing doesn’t come in until the final chapter. Not that it is a bad thing. The information in the evaluating chapters is great. Horning goes into the history of the literature, the different parts, what you should look at and how to evaluate it. She even gives examples of excellent books in each genre. Great resource and very helpful.
Each chapter tells how a writer, politician or celebrity has not only been influenced by libraries but what they have done to support literacy and libraries. Nice to find that such diverse people have some common ground and that it benefits kids, learning and libraries