Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey, A Review


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I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review.

Book Description

Just a little story about your average sword-swinging, karate-chopping, crime-fighting ninja librarians

Dorrie Barnes had no idea an overdue library book would change her life. When Dorrie and her brother Marcus chase her pet mongoose into the janitor's closet of their local library, they accidentally fall through a passage into Petrarch's Library -the headquarters of a secret society of ninja librarians who have an important mission: protect those whose words have gotten them into trouble. Anywhere in the world and at any time in history.

Dorrie would love nothing more than to join the society. But when a traitor surfaces, she and her friends are the prime suspects. Can they clear their names before the only passage back to the twenty-first century closes forever?


As a teacher and a mom, I am always looking for books that are fun, interesting, and filled with imagination to recommend to my son. He loves ninjas and I love the library; I was really looking forward to reading this. 

This is the first book in what I suspect is a new series. Dorie is a young girl who dreams of defeating villians with her mighty sword. She is tough, stubborn and impulsive, which leads her into a number of scrapes in the book. She is also a loyal friend and in the act of helping out a friend, she and her brother (literally) fall through a hole in their library and discover a secret society: the Lybriad, whose mission is to protect literary works and thoughts (throughout time) and even offers aide to people throughout history that were persecuted for their beliefs that did not align with the rest of their society. 

I really liked Dorie and the relationship that she had with her brother. As siblings, they would fuss at each other, but there was definitely a sense of love, friendship and loyalty between them. I just really liked the absence of animosity between them. 

This is a book that will be enjoyed by both boys and girls. Dorie and Marcus are strong major characters. Marcus is particularly witty and I actually laughed at many of his quips throughout the book. 

I felt that Downey did a wonderful job creating a new world and her descriptions of it made the characters and setting easily imagined in my mind. 

I am looking forward to reading this with my son over summer break and will definitely look forward to the next book in the series. When I mentioned it to a friend of mine that has two boys I told her that I wasn't as great as Harry Potter....but that it is very, very close.

I gave this book: 
(I would give it 4.5 technically)

★ = I did not like it     ★ = It was okay     ★ = I liked it    
★ = I really liked it     ★ = I loved it

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