NPR logo

Books for the Young... and the Young at Heart

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Books for the Young... and the Young at Heart

Books for the Young... and the Young at Heart

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


It's beginning to feel a lot like summertime here in the nation's capital. Temperatures are rising, the humidity is climbing, interns are settling into group homes, and we're deciding what to read.

For our first visit with a summer reader this year, we've called Elizabeth Bird. She's a senior librarian at the New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center. Welcome to the program.

Ms. ELIZABETH BIRD (Senior Librarian, Donnell Library Center in New York): Hi. I'm happy to be here.

HANSEN: So what are you reading now?

Ms. BIRD: Well, right now I'm actually reading a bunch of kids' books.

HANSEN: Like what?

Ms. BIRD: Well, I'm reading Fly By Night, by Frances Hardinge. I'm reading Firegirl, by Tony Abbott. And I'm reading Here Be Monsters, by Alan Snow.

HANSEN: Now, these are new books?

Ms. BIRD: Yep. These are very new books. A couple of these aren't even due out on the shelves yet.

HANSEN: Really? So you read them to find out what kind of books they are and whether they're appropriate for your library?

Ms. BIRD: Absolutely. And to figure out whether I can recommend them sometimes for a school library journal, which I review for.

HANSEN: Yeah, well this is work. Do you have a lot of professional reading to do?

Ms. BIRD: Yeah, we have a fair amount of professional reading here. I do it mostly for fun, though, so it's nice. My hobby is also my job.

HANSEN: So what's the big children's book that's being checked out at your library?

Ms. BIRD: Oh, well, the big children's book right now, I guess, graphic novels are really taking off like crazy. So we have, for the first time I believe, for our summer reading club this summer, we have graphic novels on the list.

The hottest one right now would be Baby Mouse, by Jennifer Holm.

HANSEN: What's that about?

Ms. BIRD: Well, actually, it's sort of a day-to-day little girl's dream world. She just happens to be a mouse. And it sort of goes through what she imagines the world should be and what the world actually is.

HANSEN: Wow. Do you get a vacation? Do you get to go away?

Ms. BIRD: Oh yeah. No, I've got two vacations coming up.

HANSEN: All right, so what are you packing in your suitcase to take with you to read?

Ms. BIRD: Oh, let's see, packing in my suitcase, a couple of titles that are going to be coming out but haven't come out yet. There's Endymion Spring, by Matthew Skelton. This is a British import that has just come out, and it's really looking like it's going to be a hot title. There's Horns and Wrinkles, by Joseph Helgerson. That one looks - it's gotten a couple of great reviews from people who've seen it beforehand. And the one that I'm personally very, very excited about it is Wintersmith, by Terry Pratchett. That's the new Wee Free Men book, and it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun.

HANSEN: What kind of book is that?

Ms. BIRD: Oh, it's a wonderful series. Actually, they just sold the movie rights to the Wee Free Men, the first book in the series. It's about a bunch of three-inch-high bright blue guys wearing kilts who drink too much and swear too much, and the little girl that they've befriended.

HANSEN: So it's children's books you're taking with you?

Ms. BIRD: Oh, yeah. I read them all the time.

HANSEN: Elizabeth Bird is a senior librarian at New York Public Library's Donnell Library Center. Thanks a lot.

Ms. BIRD: Thank you.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.