Summer Book Club: ‘The Forbidden Library’ by Django Wexler


(Deb Lindsey/For The Washington Post)
July 22, 2014
“The Forbidden Library”

By Django Wexler

Ages 8 to 12

This huge, dusty library holds some very strange books. Instead of simply reading them, a girl named Alice often finds herself suddenly inside the story and fighting the dangerous creatures within.

The library belongs to Alice’s mysterious guardian, Geryon. He takes Alice in when her father disappears during a business trip. She is told that her father has died, but she doesn’t believe this report: She saw him arguing with a large, sinister fairy the night before he left.

And she soon overhears that fairy in the library, speaking with her uncle’s assistant. Did the fairy have anything to do with her father’s disappearance? Alice is determined to find out.

She sneaks into the library and follows a cat named Ashes to Geryon’s private collection and meets a boy, Isaac, who is secretly living there.

“Take a look,” Isaac says, tempting Alice to open a book.

When she does, she and Ashes are transported immediately into the frightening world of the story, which includes a bunch of tiny monsters called “the Swarm.”

Only when she escapes does Alice discover that she is a Reader. Like Isaac and Geryon, she has magical powers. To learn how to use them, Alice must enter additional books and battle bigger monsters. And she must figure out whether Geryon and Isaac mean to help or harm her.

If you finish this novel and want the adventure to continue, look for “The Mad Apprentice” in April of next year. It’s the second book in the Forbidden Library series.

Mary Quattlebaum

Next week

The Thickety

By J.A. White

Ages 10 to 13

At age 6, Kara felt both great joy and great sorrow. Her brother Taff was born, but her mother was found guilty of witchcraft. For years after, the children are ignored by villagers, who are afraid of magic. Only the creatures from the nearby woods called the Thickety inspire more fear. When a bird lures Kara into the woods, she finds a book of spells that may have belonged to her mother. She uses the book and seems to be headed down the path her mother followed.

Younger readers might like . . .

The Magic Tree House chapter books by Mary Pope Osborne. In the first of the series, Jack and his sister Annie discover a treehouse filled with books near their home in Frog Creek, Pennsylvania. After Jack opens a book about dinosaurs, the treehouse begins to spin and the pair are transported to prehistoric times. In the books that follow “Dinosaurs Before Dark,” Jack and Annie go on dozens of adventures to distant times and places. The reading level gets a bit more difficult beginning with No. 29, “Christmas in Camelot.”

If you have a suggestion for an “Out of This World” book, fill out our form, and we may include it in a future issue of KidsPost.

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