Ms. Ila’s Middle Grade Reading Club: The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander

When you start work, you will begin at the bottom of the career ladder.  As you start to make a name for yourself by performing tasks to your employer's satisfaction, you will start to climb the ladder.

Lenora, our heroine in The Library of Ever, climbs the career ladder by performing various tasks assigned to her by her supervisor, Malachi.

Each of these tasks is a wonderful dive into all kinds of animals, subjects, or ideas!

The Library of Ever, by Zeno Alexander, has many kinds of elements of science fiction, a type of book genre.  Bendigeidfran the robot, tardigrade space travel, time travel, shrinking, and other worlds fill this short but adventurous book!

My name is Ms. Ila and I love reading middle grade fiction.  I like Lenora, who is brave and full of curiosity.  When she wants to learn something, she knows how to find the answers!

How You Can Learn Like Lenora!

The main theme of the book is that "knowledge is a light."

Lenora has a simple recipe for learning:

  • She carries a pen and notepad, where she writes any question that she comes upon in her travels.
  • Lenora borrows books related to her questions and reads them to learn the answers to her questions.

A quick way to get a broad idea about a subject is to read a general reference, like the library's Britannica School.

You will probably have other questions after reading the general information in Britannica School.  From there, you can look in the library's catalog, which is located at the top-right corner.  You can find subjects related to your questions.

You can also search the library's articles and databases for more answers to your questions.  These resources are paid for the library and are NOT from the Internet!

What is different from what you read on the Internet and what you read on the library's paid databases?  The library's paid databases have subject experts who verify the information in the databases!  Information on the Internet may not be true.

As you read the story, you will learn that Lenora has enemies called the "Forces of Darkness!"

The Forces of Darkness

How can you recognize the forces of darkness?  Here are some signs given in the first chapter:

  • Will try to prevent you from learning by saying that "you won't understand" or "you are too young."
  • Will say that library books are "full of lies."
  • Will tell you to stay away from reading or learning, without giving a good reason.
  • Will want to remove books from the library.
  • Will frequently misspell or use incorrect grammar.

The American Library Association has devoted a special week called Banned Books Week to inform people about the practice called censorship.  According to Britannica School:

"Any attempt to suppress the expression of thought or to alter or restrict information is called censorship. It can be applied to the written or spoken word or to images. Books, newspapers and periodicals, public speeches, paintings, photographs, films, television programs, popular songs, and e-mails have all been targets of censors."

You probably know that titles like J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series or R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series have been banned.  Here are some titles that have also been censored in the past:

Click here for the complete list of kids' books.

Questions to Think About

  • Were you surprised by any of the titles on the Banned Books list?
  • Why do you think titles have been banned?
  • Have you known anyone (they might be someone you know or someone on social media or someone in the news) who may be a "force of darkness?"
  • Do you know anyone like Lenora who think "knowledge is a light?"
  • What are some ways that we can help to prevent the "forces of darkness" from succeeding?
  • What can you do to be like Lenora?

Next month is February or Random Acts of Kindness month.  Let's read about a character called Bob in The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate.  He has been hurt deeply and thinks of only "number one."  Kindness wins out eventually, so let's read more about it!

Let me know what you think about The Library of Ever in the comments below!