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I work in a suburban library in a reasonably affluent community. It certainly has its advantages. The patrons are well educated and have all the modern electronic toys. They attend all of our college related courses–college financing, college essay writing, choosing a college. We have programs on art, music, current events, travel, etc. We don’t have to worry about smelly, homeless people disturbing the serenity of our library.

But there are disadvantages as well, such as really making a mark in the community. So, I want to move to Portland, OR (although I never will). They seem to be doing it right.

I want to be the librarian who rides around on my bicycle with a big basket in the front, visiting the homeless and helping them choose books. I know the photo makes it look more fun than it probably is, but still…instilling a love of books in another person or doing reader’s advisory in the great outdoors just sounds so fulfilling. So, in my dreams or in my next life, that’s what I’m going to be doing.

(Read the article linking at the bottom of the page.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/10/us/homeless-outreach-in-volumes-books-by-bike-for-outside-people-in-oregon.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Aw%2C%7B%222%22%3A%22RI%3A12%22%7D&_r=0

 

 

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Kiri is spending July alone at home while her parents are on a month long anniversary cruise. WildAwakeHer older brother is away at school. She is supposed to be practicing piano non-stop for a competition she’s entered. But one call upsets all of her plans.

The call is from Doug Fieldgrass and he slurs “Lissen, I ain’t going to call again. You want her stuff (Kiri’s older sister Sukey who supposedly died in a car accident when Kiri was 10), you get yourself down here and take it.”

Kiri is perplexed. She idolized her artist sister. She also knew that Sukey and her parents were at odds and Sukey was thrown out of the house. But no one ever speaks of Sukey. Kiri decides to track down Doug and find out what happened.

Along the way she befriends Skunk, a guy a few years older, with his own problems.

Wild Awake, Hilary T. Smith’s debut novel, is certainly an interesting read. However, I found the beginning slow going and by the end I just wanted to find out what happened, so I guess a little more editing might have been a good thing. Also, if it’s meant to be realistic fiction, there were some parts in which you have to suspend your belief and rely on imagination.

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