Rochester Reads

February 20, 2010 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

This is the selection for the adult read for Rochester Reads program this winter.  Masha Hamilton will be coming to Rochester to speak on the 22nd of February and I always look forward to meeting an author.

Although this is a fiction story, the premise of sending caravans of camels bearing library books to nomadic villages in Kenya.  A librarian from New York adventures to Africa to help with the endeavor. She is looking for adventure and experiences while doing something worthwhile.  The book involves several points of view including many from the village featured in the book.  Most villagers are not convinced that reading will benefit them.  The teacher, a young girl, and an independent grandmother are fans of the bookmobile.  Because the library from Kenya, who is the base for the bookmobile, doesn’t have lots of books they set up a very severe fine if books are not returned or damaged. The entire village will be boycotted and another village will be visited instead.  Of course the villagers are very upset when someone doesn’t return his two books. Some are just upset because it may bring bad luck to their village.  The American librarian visits the village for a series of six days and as she is there begins to understand the people of the village and how they operate.

I enjoyed the book because it let me see a new culture.  Sometimes the book dragged because the point of view changed so much and I felt that I didn’t get to see the character developed as I would have wished.  Of course the subject matter of the bookmobile was interesting to me since I am a librarian.

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