FRIDAY FIRSTLINERS

TODAY’S Friday Firstliner is from a book I have just finished, The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles.

Based on true events, featuring real people, this novel caught my attention when I saw it reviewed on two blogging friends’ reviews. I purchased it from Amazon. One of those bloggers said the parts set during WW II were excellent, but the parts set in 1983 detracted from the novel. I concur, for the story of Odile and the Paris Library made an wonderful stand-alone novel. Here is it’s first line:

“Odile/ Paris, February 1939/ Numbers floated round my head like stars. 823. The numbers were the key to a new life. 822. Constellations of hope. 841. In my bedroom late at night, in the morning on the way to get croissants, series after series–810, 840, 890–formed in front of my eyes. They represented freedom, the future. Along with the numbers, I’d studied the history of libraries…”

On this first page, the reader meets the heroine, Odile, preparing for her job interview with the Directress of the Paris Library. She has no idea what she will be asked, but knows she really wants the job.

I enjoyed this book a great deal, especially marveling at the wonderful job the employees of the Paris Library did to keep the library open and functioning, even in occupied Paris.

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Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 plus 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."

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