YA Friday: Books on Books

National Library Week

The second week of April, librarians all around the US wake up excited and run downstairs to open all the gifts that were left to them under their bookshelves/tbr piles by the library fairy for being good librarians that year... I wish.

In actuality we all go to work and usually bring potluck food items to share with each other, which is still pretty awesome.

We celebrate National Library Week because as true book lovers know, libraries are the most magical places on earth, and the people who work in them are pretty incredible, too. The keeper of stories and protectors of knowledge, librarians and library staff are smart, kind, and full of great reading suggestions. They’re also the perfect fodder for fiction and nonfiction stories alike. From mysteries to fantasies to nonfiction stories, here is a list of books featuring librarians, libraries, and the books they keep.

Sorcery of Thorns book coverSorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Strange the Dreamer book coverStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Lazlo Strange is a foundling who has grown up alone and unloved, sustained only by his fantasies and stories of a city known as Weep. As an adult, Lazlo finds his way to the Great Library of Zosma and becomes a librarian, tasked with supporting scholars in their work. His fixation with Weep continues, and he searches for scraps of information about it and its inhabitants and even teaches himself its language from books in the library. Then Eril Fane, the liberator of Weep, pays a surprise visit to Zosma. Lazlo seizes the chance to join an expedition to the city he has dreamed of for so long, and he is caught up in an old conflict between Weep's mortal residents and blue godlike beings who had terrorized the city until Eril Fane slew them. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Weep, five children of these magical beings have survived and live in the giant seraph that hovers over the city, blocking the light. When Sarai, one of these Godspawn, visits Lazlo in his dreams, their growing relationship leads to the revelation of long-hidden secrets and opposition from other Godspawn, who desire revenge on mortals.

The Librarian of Auschwitz book cover

The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Based on the true story, fourteen-year-old Dita is imprisoned at Auschwitz along with her mother and father in the "family camp." Her work assignment is to assist the Jewish leader in charge of Block 31, a section created to entertain the children so that their family can work. This block has many secrets, but the most important is that eight books were smuggled in by Jewish prisoners. Dita has been entrusted with their care, making her "the Librarian of Auschwitz." As time passes on, she becomes aware that Dr. Mengele has taken an interest in her, and while she is terrified that "Doctor Death" is paying attention to her, she finds the courage to protect her books, family, and friends at all costs.

The Reader book coverThe Reader by Traci Chee

Sefia’s father drilled her on what to do if they were ever in danger, but she never expected to return home one day and find him brutally murdered. She escapes with one vital thing: a heavy square wrapped in cloth, containing bound pages with intricate symbols. It’s a book, but reading in Sefia’s kingdom is a skill limited to an elite few, and now that this precious volume is in her possession, she’s in grave danger. Sefia spends years on the run with her aunt, Nin, until the day when the murderer catches up to them and violently steals Nin away. With the help of a mute boy she saves from a slave ring and the magic she finds in the words of the book, she seeks out her parents’ killer.

Evil Librarian book cover

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

He is young. He is hot. He is also evil. He is ....... the librarian. Cynthia's best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, but after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn't quite right. Maybe it's the creepy look in the librarian's eyes... or the blood and horns and bat-like wings that appear when he thinks no one is looking. He's a demon... and now Cyn has to save her best friend from the clutches of the evil librarian, who also seems to be slowly sucking the life force out of the entire student body!

Thief of Lies book cover

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake

Gia Kearns would rather fight with boys than kiss them. That is, until Arik, a leather clad hottie in the Boston Athenaeum, suddenly disappears. While examining the book of world libraries he abandoned, Gia unwittingly speaks the key that sucks her and her friends into a photograph and transports them into a Paris library, where Arik and his Sentinels-magical knights charged with protecting humans from the creatures traveling across the gateway books-rescue them from a demonic hound. Jumping into some of the world's most beautiful libraries would be a dream come true for Gia, if she weren't busy resisting her heart or dodging an exiled wizard seeking revenge on both the Mystik and human worlds. Add a French flirt obsessed with Arik and a fling with a young wizard, and Gia must choose between her heart and her head, between Arik's world and her own, before both are destroyed.

Ink and Bone book cover

Ink and Bone: The Great Library by Rachel Caine

In an alternate reality, the Great Library of Alexandria is a powerful governing force that controls the dissemination of information. With strategically located branches around the world, it enforces its rules via a highly trained military and deadly automatons. Possession of a book in its original form is illegal, but copies can be requested and are transferred temporarily to readers. For the majority of people who follow its edicts, the library seems like a benevolent authority, but as the delivery boy for his father's black market operation in original books, Jess Brightwell lives in constant fear of being caught by the High Garda. When his father announces that he's enrolled Jess as a postulant to train for a coveted library position, Jess is intrigued and resentful. Constant exposure to books has him hungering for access to the library's vast archives, but he has no wish to continue risking his life for his father's business. His illegal activities have imbued him with the skills necessary to place among the top contenders for the few available positions. But the further Jess gets into the training, the greater the risk of being found out and the more he realizes that the library will stop at nothing to maintain control over its collection.

Further Reading

The Library of Fates book cover
Ink, Iron, and Glass book cover
Words in Deep Blue book cover
The Book Jumper book cover
The Dark Vault book cover
Sky Without Stars book cover