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Lucy refused to use her
family’s connections, instead she settled for becoming the children’s librarian
in Hannibal Missouri, a decision her parents found frustrating and a location
they considered the back of beyond.  Nonetheless
it should be a position with little possibility for dangerous hijinks.  Not so with Lucy, she either kidnaps or is
kidnapped by her favorite patron, ten year old Ian Drake.  The young boy is a voracious reader with a
quick mind.  He devours books, coming to
Lucy for recommendations and conversation. 
She appreciates his intelligence and creativity.  The two form a close bond.  Ian’s parents have a different view,
fundamentalist Christian, they do not believe in free and easy access to all
the worlds books can offer. Lucy colludes with the young boy, slipping him
copies of A Wrinkle in Time and The Princess Bride.  Ian’s lack of interest in sports
and his preoccupation with reading disturb his parents, they see the potential
for the child to be gay and they see that as bad.  Ian’s attitude and mood darken when he is
enrolled in an “anti-gay” program with a controversial minister.   Disturbed by what is happening to Ian, Lucy
gets caught up in a dynamic that just might be well beyond her ability to solve.  And kidnapping could cause some problems in
her own future.  This is a fascinating,
quirky, highly entertaining story that touches on so many great themes for
discussion.  Not the least is the
relationship Lucy has with her own parents

— Deon Stonehouse

June 2011 Indie Next List

“A 26-year-old children's librarian, Lucy Hull, allows herself to be 'kidnapped' by one of her precocious 10-year-old patrons, a boy intent on running away from home. The pair end up on a hilarious road trip that ping-pongs them across the Midwest and out to the East Coast. Makkai's writing is sharp and funny, and book lovers will enjoy the many references to well-known titles, from echoes of the road trip in Lolita to a chapter that is structured like a Choose Your Own Adventure story. What a wonderful, assured, and original debut!”
— Shuchi Saraswat, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA


In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and an upsetting family history thrown in their path.

About the Author

Rebecca Makkai's stories have been anthologized in "The Best American Short Stories 2008, 2009," and "2010," and have appeared in "Tin House, Ploughshares, The Threepenny Review," and on NPR's "Selected Shorts." Makkai teaches elementary school and lives north of Chicago with her husband and two daughters.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780434021000
Publisher: William Heinemann
Publication Date: July 1st, 2011