The Story Seeker: A New York Public Library Book

Ages: 9 - 12Publisher: Macmillan USA Narrator: Brittany PressleyAuthor: Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

The year is 1929, and 12-year-old Viviani Fedeler is living with her family in an apartment in the New York Public Library, where her father is the building superintendent. An aspiring writer, Viviani is in love with language, always searching for “the tiptoppest, most liquidy lovable words” with which to tell her stories. When we first meet Viviani and her classmates in Kristen O’Donnell Tubb’s delightful new novel, The Story Seeker, the girls are competing for first prize in a writing contest sponsored by The New York Times. Eager to win the prize, Viviani is suffering from writer’s block when she is suddenly faced with an even greater challenge: the inexplicable disappearance of a number of rare medical books from the library. Using codes and clues that she finds scattered throughout the library, Viviani solves the mystery of the missing books and, in the process, learns an important lesson about the nature of truth and the value of storytelling. With her bright, cheerful narration, voice actor Brittany Presley is ideally suited for portraying Viviani’s unquenchable curiosity about the world around her. Tubb’s audiobook is rich with historical detail. In addition to providing young readers with fascinating details about the library system of an earlier generation (card catalogues, checkout cards, the Dewey Decimal System), the story is filled with references to colorful characters and important events from the period, including cartoonist Rube Goldberg, comedian Buster Keaton, notorious crime boss Al Capone, journalist Lorrena Hickick, and the devastating tuberculosis epidemic that plagued New York City during the early decades of the 20th century. To assist young readers in engaging with the story, the audiobook includes a link to a pdf that includes illustrations from the print version of the book and the actual puzzles and codes that Viviani uses to solve the mystery.

 

David Shirley ©2020 Parents’ Choice

David Shirley’s recent nonfiction titles include A History of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Fix It Leroy! His YA biographies, Every Day I Sing the Blues: The Story of B. B. King and Satchel Paige: Baseball Legend were honored as the New York Public Library’s Best Books for Teens.

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