Title: Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library Author: Eth Clifford Illustrator: George Hughes Publisher: Boston; Houghton Mifflin Company
Genre: Realistic Fiction Level: Intermediate Number of pages: 105 Pub. Date: 1979
Two sisters, Mary Rose and Jo-Beth are on their way to their aunt’s house when their dad’s car runs out of gas. When Jo-Beth has to go to the bathroom she maker her big sister take her into the library. Unfortunately, they get side tracked and end up locked in the library for the night, with out their father knowing where they are. To make matters worse, a blizzard comes in and the power goes out. Lucky for the girls the librarian lives above the library and the girls spend the time with her learning about the library until the storm calms down and their father can come get them.
Although this book is a chapter book I believe that it really shows more characteristics of a young child’s realistic fiction book. Particularly I believe that this is a family story. The two sisters in this story work to over come their differences and also work toward accepting the baby brother that will be joining their family soon. Both of these girls also grow as individual’s. However, the girls grow more together as sisters.
Personally, I found this book a little boring. I may have enjoyed it more if it was more at my reading level but the lack of conflict in the story made it move slowly. If I could change one thing about this story it would be to make the blizzard last longer. I think this would make the story more entertaining and also make it a little more realistic. When a blizzard hits, it usually doesn’t disappear over night.
During: I think it would be really fun to schedule a lock- in at the school library and read this book during it. Then students could pretend to be the characters and have an easier time relating to them.