216 N Marshall Ave

Litchfield MN 55355


All Pioneerland

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Friday, April 29, 2016

The Weightiest of Books

One of the largest books I own has drawn some attention as it sits on the children’s desk.  It weighs 6.7 pounds, and contains 2,941 pages.  The title is Children’s Core Collection, 21st edition.  It is exactly what it says. There are about 12,000 books listed in it, all recommended by professionals for school and public libraries.  I bought it used, because new copies cost 240.00.  (If you ask me, I’ll tell you how much it cost, but I won’t put it in print.)   The 22nd edition has been released, also 240.00.  If you want, a copy of the 22nd edition can be sent to you from Japan, costing 450.00 plus 3.99 shipping.

 I mention this because several patrons have commented on the copy on the desk.  The cover has a colorful illustration from Alice in Wonderland, which may be a comment on the vast rabbit hole that is children’s book publishing.  If you search for the number of children’s books published each year, it’s pretty much impossible to know the exact number of books. It’s safe to say there are many thousands of books published each year, somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000. Or more.  This book helps me fill in the gaps in the children’s collections at Litchfield, Dassel, and Grove City.
This giant tome shares the desk with some great new books.  Avi has published a book of short stories about sons, fathers, and grandfathers, titled The Most Important Thing.  This is a wonderful collection of seven stories that ask the question, “What is the most important thing a father can do for his son?”  Avi is one of the best known children’s writers of our time, and his short stories show the mastery that made him an award winning author.

I don’t know how to describe Slacker, by Gordon Korman.  This very funny book is the story of how a group of friends who like to hang around playing
video games in the basement end up with a group devoted to doing good called the PAG –Positive Action Group.  It doesn’t really exist, except as a title meant to fool family members and school staff into believing that these gamers are really devoted to doing good things for their community.  As the plot unfolds, the group really does get involved in doing something no one else could do as it stops bulldozers from destroying their highway exit and saves a beaver named Elvis.

 The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater, is book 4 of “The Raven Cycle.” Reviews at  show that  many of the reviewers are extremely  sad that the series is ending.  The library even  received a list of what to read now that Ms. Stiefvater has finished her quartet.  The four books in the series  are The Raven Boys, The Dream  Thieves, Blue Lily, Lily Blue, and The Raven King.  Again, I don’t know how to describe these books, except to invite you to read them.  They are full of dreams, magic, and suspense. 

Julie Kagawa has three series that are very popular right now.  They are The Iron Fey, The Blood of Eden, and The Talon Saga.  The library just added the three books of The Talon Saga: Talon, Rogue, and Soldier.  These books are about dragons that have the ability to change their form to blend in with humans.  Teenagers who are dragons,  teenagers who are dragon-slayers, a rogue dragon who is sort of a rogue teenager, romance, adventure, action, all wrapped up in a trilogy.  What more  could a fantasy-loving reader ask for?