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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Uncle and Me, written by Uma Krishnaswami. Groundwood, 2016. $14.95 ages 8 and up

"But why was it so perfect for me?"

I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I can't help myself. I am puzzled and it just comes bursting out that way. "Ah," he says. "That is a very good question." "Thank you, " I say. "But what is the answer?" "Sometimes you have to let the perfect book sit in your mind for a while before fit begins to mean something."

Yasmin has set a goal for herself. Every day she visits Book Uncle, the owner of a free library on her street corner. He is why she has made a pledge to read a new book every day ... until forever.

Book Uncle has one goal ... to find "the right book for the right person for the right day." He has an uncanny ability to do so, and Yasmin is the happy reader to prove it. When his lending library is shut down because of a zoning bylaw, Yasmin makes it her mission to get him back in business. He has no money to pay for the permit being required by local legislators. He loans his own books free of charge to anyone who wants to read them.

Yasmin's determination has her finding help within her community, and with her friends who also borrow from Book Uncle. The mayoral election being held, and the candidates in the running, provide a perfect scenario for getting municipal leaders to look at the issue itself, and to listen to what Yasmin has to say.

Yasmin is a worthy adversary for those wanting to win the election. She has a strong voice, fierce determination, and a powerful sense for what is fair and reasonable. She shows her potential for leadership at every turn, and soon has the support needed to make a real difference.

Book Uncle also gets what he needs to open his library again, and to begin doing what he loves to do.

"Karate Samuel is carrying on. "I understand that Mr. Book Uncle makes it possible for children to get good books. Can you think of a better thing to do? The TV person says no, he can't. "He is a symbol of our city's pride in elderly people, children and literacy."

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