9 Magical Books About Libraries & Bookstores

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book shelves and cozy chair

Beat the heat and share a love of reading with the kids in your life by visiting Oshkosh Public Library this summer! Sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge and then bring some of that irresistible library magic home with these enchanting stories about libraries and bookstores.

woman reading picture book to preschooler

Oshkosh Public Library Staff Picks

Picture Books

Ronan the Librarian
by Tara Luebbe
This is a fun story to entice the youngest audience into the library! Barbarians don’t read! They raid! Check this book out to see what the real treasure is after all.

Bats at the Library
by Brian Lies
Bat night at the library happens when a light is left on, and a window is left open. Why would bats want to visit the library?

The Librarian of Basra
by Jeanette Winter
This is an amazing true story.  With war raging in Basra, Iraq, the chief librarian, Alia, was able to hide 30,000 of the library’s books only nine days before the building burned to the ground. She stashed them both in her house and with friends. 

Chapter Books

The Neverending Story
by Michael Ende
When Bastian happens upon an old book in a local bookstore, he becomes immersed in the story — so much that he discovers that he actually is a character in the story! The magical world in the book, Fantastica, is in great danger and he has been chosen to save it! Recommended for ages 10+.

The Library of Ever
by Zeno Alexander
With her parents off traveling the globe, Lenora is bored, bored, bored?until she discovers a secret doorway into the ultimate library. Mazelike and reality-bending, the library contains all the universe’s wisdom. Every book ever written, and every fact ever known, can be found within its walls. And Lenora becomes its newly appointed Fourth Assistant Apprentice Librarian! She rockets to the stars, travels to a future filled with robots, and faces down a dark nothingness that wants to destroy all knowledge. To save the library, Lenora will have to test her limits and uncover secrets hidden among its shelves.
Recommended for ages 8 – 12 yrs.

The Haunted Library
by Dori Hillstead Butler
When ghost boy Kaz’s haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, he meets a real girl named Claire, who lives above the town library with her parents and her grandmother. Claire has a special ability to see ghosts, and she and Kaz quickly form a friendship. The two join forces to solve the mystery of the ghost that is haunting the library. Could it be one of Kaz’s lost family members? This series is great for kids reading easy chapter books.
Recommended for ages 6 -8 yrs.


Words in Deep Blue
by Cath Crawley
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited, but Henry never came. Now Rachel has returned to the city…and the bookshop. She works with the boy she’d rather never see again because she needs a distraction from the grief of her brother’s drowning. As Henry and Rachel work side by side, surrounded by books, exchanging letters between the pages, they find it’s possible that words and second chances are enough. You’re going to fall in love with this story and wish the bookshop was real. 

We Are Inevitable
by Gayle Forman
Aaron Stein used to think books were miracles, but not anymore. Now, his brother and mom are gone, his friends have moved on after graduation, and Aaron is stuck working with his grieving father in his family’s secondhand bookshop in a town where no one seems to read anymore. But things start to look up when Aaron becomes friends with optimistic Chad and meets Hannah, a beautiful musician who might be the one that Aaron has been waiting for.

Sorcery of Thorns
by Margaret Rogerson
Would you dare to enter a magical and dangerous library? In the world of Austermeer, all sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known this her whole life, being raised as an apprentice librarian in charge of magical grimoires that transform into monsters. But when Elisabeth is implicated in releasing the library’s most dangerous grimoire, she becomes entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy that could mean the end of everything.  

For more suggestions, check out these lists: Time Traveler, Road Trip USA, Ocean Explorer, Portal to a Different World. If you’re too busy to browse, OPL librarians will select a Book Bundle for your child based on their interests. You’ll receive a holds notice when your books are ready for pick up.

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