Today, we're reviewing The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jen S. Downey! (But check out our interview first!)
MMGM is a feature hosted by author Shannon Messenger on her blog every week!
Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: April 15th 2014 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Format read: E-ARC via publisher
Jen S. Downey has written a debut novel that will undoubtedly capture hearts and minds, while also reminding us of what's important in life.
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Dorrie Barnes had no idea an overdue library book would change her life. When Dorrie and her brother Marcus chase her pet mongoose into the janitor's closet of their local library, they accidentally fall through a passage into Petrarch's Library -the headquarters of a secret society of ninja librarians who have an important mission: protect those whose words have gotten them into trouble. Anywhere in the world and at any time in history.
Dorrie would love nothing more than to join the society. But when a traitor surfaces, she and her friends are the prime suspects. Can they clear their names before the only passage back to the twenty-first century closes forever?
Thanks to an accidental mongoose chase, Dorrie and Marcus Barnes accidentally stumble into Petrach's Library, which is managed by a group of ninja librarians who have one very important message: protecting those in history who have gotten in trouble through the power of their words.
Downey does a fantastic job of skillfully balancing the adventurous elements of her debut novel (sword fights! ninja librarians!) with an ongoing mystery, while also making sure to include a very thoughtful message about how the power of words have changed and dictated history, and how people have taken the risk to use those words, simply because it's the right thing to do.
With smart, snappy writing, characters who feel so real, they feel like they can step off the page, and an expertly and tightly plotted story, Downey proves that she's definitely a writer to watch. This is a book that is perfect for not only the most avid MG readers, but also for reluctant readers.
It's smart, funny and has the same type of magical/universal readership quality that attracters readers to Rick Riordan's books.
I know I'm definitely getting this book for the reluctant readers in my life, and am confident they'll love it too!
Downey never fails to remind readers, both young and old, of the importance of standing up for your convictions, and the obstacles that have been faced by some of history's greatest thinkers. It's a pretty heady lesson for younger readers, but I think they'll absorb it beautifully, especially with Downey's wonderful writing to lead the way.
Also, this book made me want to thank all of the fantastic librarians and thinkers who've influenced me throughout my life: thank you for making me think and stand up like the characters in this book.
Buy this book. You'll love it, and you'll want to give it to all of the readers in your life.