25 November 2011
Makkai, Rebecca. The Borrower. New York: Viking, 2011.
Lucy is a children's librarian at a small public library. She enjoys suggesting books to her young patrons and chatting with the "regulars" as they appear for the weekly Chapter Book Story Hour. The mother of Ian, one of her young patrons, expresses some concern over her son's choice of books containing witches, magic, or "girly" themes. Lucy has to walk a fine line between honoring the mother's request and honoring the First Amendment. Soon she discovers that Ian is being required to attend an ex-gay youth group. Ian chafes under his parents' rules and decides to run away ... to the library. When Lucy puts Ian in her car on the pretense of taking him home and ends up running away with him, she soon has to decide whether it would be easier to keep running away or to run back home.
I found the beginning of this book to be very interesting. I enjoyed the chapters where Ian would sneak books out of the library and when he bored his babysitter by playing a very slow, very old computer game. I appreciated all the references to classic children's and YA literature. However, the last third of this book went very slowly. I was disappointed not to discover what happened with Ian once he returned home. This book suffers from a horrible case of bad end-game. It's worth checking out of the library, but I only recommend the first 150-200 pages.