The Library Card

by Jerry Spinelli

Paperback, 1998



Local notes

PB Spi





Scholastic Paperbacks (1998), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 160 pages


The lives of four young people in different circumstances are changed by their encounters with books.


Physical description

160 p.; 7.48 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member LeHack
Does anyone else remember the day they received their first, very own, library card? Or how they escape into books?
LibraryThing member jhybe
four short stories about a mysterious blue library card. explores different struggles of life faced by young people. not bad, but not super fantastic.
LibraryThing member cathyskye
ISBN: 0439856272
Protagonist(s): four children for whom a library card has a profound impact upon their lives
Setting: present-day, anywhere from urban to country
Children's Fiction, Standalone

First Line: Fingers trembling, eyes on the man at the cash register, Mongoose snatched the Milky Way bar and
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stuck it in his coat pocket.

Jamie Hill (Mongoose) has just turned twelve. He seems to have a lot of time on his hands, and he spends most of it with his best friend, Bobby Morgan (Weasel). Weasel dreams of the day he'll turn sixteen so he can quit school. His idea of a good time is shoplifting, selling the proceeds for spray paint, tagging everything that doesn't move, and dreaming of that hot Firebird he's going to have. Jamie is content to go along with everything Weasel does...until Jamie finds a library card.

Brenda has had a passionate love affair with television since she was an infant. Unfortunately for her, her school has a week-long project: The Great TV Turn-Off. Brenda is just about to drive herself and everyone around her insane...until she finds a library card in her room where the TV used to be.

Sonseray's mother died of a drug overdose. He and his uncle are calling an ancient Cadillac Eldorado home while his uncle is between jobs. Sonseray is filled with rage and takes that rage out on everyone and everything around him...until he happens to find a library card.

April's most prized possession is her NYC library card. She's not happy about her family's move from New York City to a mushroom farm out in the middle of the country...until she happens to see a bookmobile on the road past her farm.

This book was written for children from (roughly) ages 8 to 12, so the writing was a bit more simplistic than I'm used to. I thought Brenda's story was the weak one of the quartet, and the two strongest were Mongoose and Sonseray. The last two were so in need of something that would help steer them onto different paths. For a reader like me, it was wonderful that books, libraries and librarians were what helped them. This was a nice, quick read that made me remember what a special place books have had in my life.
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LibraryThing member coriblake
There is a magical element to the four short stories that reveal how a library card changes the lives of the four children in each story. Kind of weird! I didn't understand all that well the story of Sonseray. Hmmm??
LibraryThing member awiltenburg
I am very disappointed in the introduction to this book. The first 33 pages plus is full of naughty behavior!! Stealing, disrespect, vandalism by painting public property, sneaking out, lying, treating teachers poorly, poor classroom behavior, poor attitude, etc... I would NOT use this book in the
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classroom because of the slew of bad behaviors in the book. There's so many it far outweighs any adventures that may be coming up.
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LibraryThing member i.luv.rootbeer
This book, "The Library Card", touches on different people and different challenges but in the end teaches a good lesson about how can effect you. (This book is parted into 5 sections with 5 different people. I will be talking about the story of "Brenda".)
In the Beginning of the story, Brenda is
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getting ready for a big change in her life that will effect her very much: No TV for a week. Brenda is not taking this well at all., because TV is her life. She is constantly thinking about what show she's missing and always trying to find ways to watch TV-no matter what it takes. Soon she can't handle it. She is finding it harder and harder to keep away from her TV. But in the middle of the night, sleep-walking, she finds a mysterious library card in her room and heads to the library to see how to use it. She breaks into the library, and finds a book. It's a book all about her, all about the things that she never really knew about herself because she was too busy wanting to know everything about TV characters. This mysterious book changes everything for Brenda. She has a want to tell everybody about all the things she learned about herself. She goes a little over the top with telling people about herself and she receives alot of joy from knowing things new things. But will she stay this way? Even when the week is over, when she go back to her TV?
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LibraryThing member chris.coelho
The Library Card by Jerry Spinelli is a book reminded me a little bit of the 1983 movie, Nightmares, which starred a young Emilio Estevez, mainly because of the collection of short stories that were present in both The Library Card and Nightmares. They both had a Sci-Fi element to them, following
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characters in what seemed like a normal, every day life, before being swept away in a science fiction realm.

I enjoy reading short stories. I also prefer sit-coms over movies. I like stories that gets to the point. I dislike long books. When I read long books, I find myself having read 10 pages, yet not remembering what I read because I was bored. The collection of four stories in The Library Card are short, entertaining, and most importantly, once it gets to the point, it is over. Bam! On to the next one. Just the way I like it.

I will most definitely recommend this book to my future students. I foresee myself as a middle school teacher, and in my opinion, The Library Card is great for this age group because it is short, to the point, and most importantly it is relatable and entertaining. In the book, reading becomes an escape for the main characters, almost a relief from the realities of life. What is ironic, The Library Card does the same exact thing. I pictured myself standing next to the main characters as they experienced their adventures. I pictured the surroundings, the characters, the situations, the smells, etc, all the while finding enjoyment in escaping my own realities of life.

The Library Card is an entertaining book that will most certainly reach students at the middle school, or even high school level. The characters are relatable, and so are the situations that they find themselves in. We have all had friends like Weasel that wanted to drop out of school. Most of us have found ourselves going stir crazy when we were forced to live life without television, not unlike Brenda in the second short story. And unfortunately, some of us have had to deal with the loss of a mother, something that Sonseray copes with in the third short story.

I enjoyed reading The Library Card, and I am certain I will have it available for my future students.
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LibraryThing member br13jago
Brenda, Mongoose, April, and Sonseray were all so differnt. they didnt really get along until they found this blue card. The library card... by jerry spinelli. the card actually links for the kids to go into the future. this book is very entertaining. i thought it was very good. when i was younger
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i tryed to read this book, i read the first few pages and hated it. i did this time too, but i decided to read deeper into the book, and im glad i did because i actually ended up liking it. i thought this book was entertaining. not the best thing i could have read, but it kept me interested and i kept waanting to read more. to be completely honest it was probably a bit too kiddish for someone my age, but im really happy i read it because it was actually really goood overall. there was a few parts i caught myself laughing at, a couple perst that touched your heart, and i had a few connections that helped the book be even more interesting. over all im happy i decided to actually read this book because i was entertained and interested.
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LibraryThing member dono421846
Four tales of youths redeemed through the intervention of a magic library card. The tales would have benefited from a clearer depiction of precisely the enchantment represented by the card: sometimes it seems tied to knowing librarians, but other times not. Usually it leads them to the saving power
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of reading, but not always. A pleasant and uplifting read, but not deeply satisfying to the imagination.
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LibraryThing member rosyme67
This book has a great start that would interest many young readers. However, it seems so disconnected without resolution in the end. There were a lot of hanging stories with no real closure to the endings. I realize that is Spinelli's purpose to have different stories that were not connected.
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Perhaps there could be an explanation. I kept waiting for it to all come together.
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LibraryThing member LauGal
the concept was better than the story itself.
LibraryThing member DonnaMarieMerritt
Published in 1997, but it's my first time reading it—whimsical, mystical short stories about how libraries might transform your life.
LibraryThing member nx74defiant
Four stories of four different children how find a mysterious blue library card. Each finds there life changed by the library. There is a tagger, a tv addict, a homeless boy and a girl who has moved to a mushroom farm.




(109 ratings; 3.4)
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