Funny thing, this week I didn’t read a single kid’s book, so instead, I will recommend and review a book about people who work with (and live for) kids: teachers, librarians, and principals. I listened to this one as an audiobook and had the best experience with an audiobook to date. Now I know why so many of my blogging friends like and read audiobooks.

I definitely will look for more books by this author.

This 2020 publication was made for me–the protagonist was a librarian in a private school located in, Galveston, Texas, thirty miles south of where I live. It was both “timely” and “uplifting,” two of the words critics and reviewers used to describe this novel. The “author’s essay at the end, “Read for Joy,” is one I intend to use in my writing class next semester as a model to emulate.

There is tragedy in this book, both in the past and the present, but that is also the “message” the author is successfully preaching–One “should choose joy even [and especially] in difficult times.”and in the midst of tragedy.

The quirky school librarian,Samantha, who is dealing with trauma and tragedy, both physical and emotional, is a character you will love and root for. Duncan Carpenter, the stoic, cold new principal, who was once a presence in Samantha’s life, is the love interest you’ll love to hate. The twists and turns will keep you engaged in this “novel full of hope and love” right down to the satisfactory “comforting warmth” you will experience at the end.

This was one of my favorite “reads” so far this year.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."


  1. It’s always neat to see a book that takes place near where you live. It’s odd, but neat. I remember wondering why nothing ever took place in Texas when I was a kid (unless it was a western), and was talking to one of those book fair folks. They recommended me to Joan Lowery Nixon, and her book The Kidnapping of Christina Lattimore took place in Houston. I remember it was pretty good, and read a few others.

    I think that’s part of the reason I want to write short stories and novels: have something take place in Houston or the surrounding area. Working on ’em. Maybe I’ll work on one for NaNoWriMo. Almost forgot it was nearly November so I gotta get cracking on prepwork.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved this book, and am so glad you did as well, Rae. This is one that I read and didn’t listen to. I am glad the audiobook was a good experience for you. Wonderful review and I love the message you took from the book.

    Liked by 1 person

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