Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Book Boat's In

Cynthia Cotten's story, The Book Boat's In, tells of a little known (and now obsolete) method of bringing books to people who might not have had access to them otherwise.

An author's note in back shares how the Erie Canal's opening allowed boats to travel from New York City westward providing a variety of new and hard to get things to cities such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit and Chicago, allowing them to grow quickly.  Floating libraries helped bring reading material to people who otherwise would not have had access to books.  

In The Book Boat's In, Jesse and his father travel to town where Jesse is excited to visit the book boat.  When he sees a copy of The Swiss Family Robinson, he returns home to count his money and try to find ways in which he can earn more to be able to buy himself a copy of the book when he returns to town next week.

Aside from helping share the story of book boats, I also appreciated Cotten's story which depicts a boy who values books and will work hard to own one himself.  Illustrator Frane Lessac's folk illustrations give this story the feel of early American life.  

I'm an easy target for a book about books and libraries, but this is one I will be reading to classes at school and sharing with my own children.  I am fascinated by the idea of floating libraries and know that my listeners will find it amazing as well.

If you're looking for some other great books about libraries, check these out:

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