Foreword – April 29, 2024

It’s hard to believe it, but summer is rapidly approaching! We’re going to be busy getting ready for summer programming, so we’re taking a break from storytime and Wired, our youth technology program, in May.

Black Creek Village Library will be at the Seymour Schools Family Fest & Hope Walk on Friday, May 3, 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. We’ll be sharing a table with Muehl Public Library, so please stop by and say, “hi!”

Speaking of school, school visits are a fun part of May for public libraries. Whether Rachel visits the classes at school or they come to the library, it’s a time to get excited about reading, stories, and upcoming summer programs. Often these visits include book talks, and it is fun to prepare brief book talks to introduce youth to books they may want to read this summer.

One book likely to be “talked” is Max in the House of Spies by Adam Gidwitz. The parents of eleven-year-old Max Bretzfeld, fearing for his safety as a Jewish child in Nazi Germany in 1939, send him to England via the Kindertransport. Max reluctantly agrees despite his worries about his parents. His affluent Jewish foster family in London is kind and generous, but it’s difficult for Max to adjust to life far from home. He’s never completely alone, however, because he has two immortal creatures living on his shoulders named Stein and Berg, who freely comment on the situations Max finds himself in. They aren’t exactly a source of comfort, and they’re all too willing to create mischief too. When his foster family connections put him in a position to impress British intelligence, he vows to train and become a spy so he can return to Germany and join his parents. Is he up to the challenge? This book, which is the first in a duology, is recommended for youth ages eight through twelve who enjoy historical fiction with high stakes, a clever hero, and humor, even in harrowing circumstances. Aside from the fact that a child would be not be considered as potential spy, the story is rooted in the historical record.