Review Blog

Feb 07 2011

The night bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

cover image

Jonathan Cape, 2010. ISBN 9780224089524.
(Age 14+) Recommended. Graphic novel. I loved The time traveller's wife and Her fearful symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger and so I looked forward to reading this graphic novel. It was not a disappointment; it is thought provoking and intense.
Late one night, after a fight with her boyfriend, Alexandra goes out for a walk and comes across a bookmobile. When she enters it she discovers that the shelves contain all the books that she has ever read. Her life progresses and she searches for the book mobile and Robert, the librarian who runs its, but doesn't come across them again until years later, after she herself has become a librarian. She finally decides that she wants to work in the bookmobile, but there is a high price to pay.
Niffenegger's passion for books and her appreciation of libraries come across in this colourful book with its stylised pictures and childlike print. It is a haunting story about the loneliness that a young woman faces and the place that books can have in a life.
It is a such a memorable story that often I find myself thinking what my bookmobile would contain - shelves of children's and young adult books that I have reviewed, treasures that I have found through book groups and lots of escapist books that have helped me through stressful times. On examination of my reading patterns, I am determined to find some more adult treasures to add!
Thoughtful teens, especially those who love books, will find much to think about in this subtle and somewhat scary tale about the power of the written word.
Pat Pledger

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