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Book Uncle and Me
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Book Uncle and Me

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  571 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Summary: Nine-year-old Yasmin intends to read a book a day for the rest of her life. Book Uncle, who runs a free lending library on the street corner, always has the perfect book for her. But when Book Uncle seems to be in trouble, Yasmin has to take her nose out of her book and do something. With the elections coming up and the grown-ups busy with their own affairs, what ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Scholastic (first published April 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  571 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Bruce Gargoyle
Ten Second Synopsis:
Yasmin has a goal to read a book a day for the rest of her life, ably aided by Book Uncle, the man who runs a free little lending library on the corner of Yasmin's street. When Book Uncle receives a notice from the Council that he must close his book stand, Yasmin must find a way to change Council's mind and bring books back to her community.

Charming and humorous story about changing your world, for young independent readers. Even though this is a short book, it's chock full
Every day after school 9-year-old Yasmin zig-zags across the broken pavement to see what book Book Uncle recommends for her today. She is determined to read a book a day and with Book Uncle to provide free books, she's already read over 400! Book Uncle chooses the right book for the right person on the right day. When the mayor insists Book Uncle's stall is causing clutter on the streets and demands Book Uncle pay a fee for a permit Yasmin takes action.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I l
9 yr old Yasmin loves to read and is horrified when she learns that the local free lending library stand gets shut down. This is a cute story about activism, friendship, politics and Indian culture. It is delightful that this story could have been taken place anywhere. Great theme just a bit slow. 2020 Nutmeg Nominee.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the different style of writing and the vocabulary words. I felt both the universality of the urban child's experiences and the uniqueness of the Indian perspective. The theme, of course, is important. All the characters are interesting... glimpses of the istri lady's life, and Reeni's family situation, and Rafiq Uncle, are only some of what could each have been at least another full chapter. But this is pared down to a quick read for 6-9 year-olds. I love all the descriptions of the foods ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I liked this story but found it a bit difficult to get into because it was set in India and used terms for which there was no glossary provided so that you could look up what they meant. It was disorienting. However, once I got into the characters and story, I was sucked right in. I enjoyed the unusual topic of young people and civic responsibility, standing up for a political candidate who would understand and respond to the needs of their constituents. Apparently this is not a community with a ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bookworm Yasmin is pretty content with her life and well on her way to reading a book a day for the rest of her life. One day Book Uncle doesn't set up shop at his usual corner of the street and Yasmin soon learns it's up to her and her friends to bring Book Uncle back in business.

I originally picked up this chapter book for my daughter because the main character LOVES reading. Imagine my delight when it turns out that Yasmin isn't just an avid reader but a budding social activist as well. I app
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
My daughter and I read this book together and loved this sweet story set in India about a girl who makes a big difference in her little community. I loved the little insights into Indian culture (a glossary of some of the terms would have been nice) and the emphasis on the importance of books and reading. Definitely recommend.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
This is a nice story about a child taking steps to influence people's minds. I also like that it shows that sometimes there are unintentional consequences of something we do - the original letter, in this case.
Sherry Guice
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good beginning chapter book that could introduce students to life in India as well as activism...
Alex  Baugh
Yasmin, 9, loves to read and her goal is to read a book a day forever. So far, she has read over 400 hundred books. Everyday after school, Yasmin visits Book Uncle, a retired teacher and widower, who runs a free lending library near her apartment. Book Uncle's motto is "Right Book for the right person for the right day," but when he gives Yasmin two books one day, she is a little taken aback. One is an old Indian story, too easy for her. But he insists, and it is a story the she finds herself po ...more
What a wonderful example of a child making a difference in the world! Nine-year-old Yasmin loves to read, and she has decided to read a new book every day. She loves choosing books from the free lending library operated by Book Uncle, a retired teacher, until the mayor threatens to shut down his operation. Even though she cannot vote and is young, Yasmin mounts a campaign involving her friends, family, and neighbors, even some politicians, to make things right again. Readers will enjoy watching ...more
Martha Meyer
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun and very timely story about a girl in an apartment complex in a town in India. Yasmin loves getting free books from Book Uncle who shares his private library with the people of the city by means of a stall on the street near her apartment. When the town bureaucracy shuts down Book Uncle's stall, Yasmin makes it an election issue with the help of all the people in her school and apartment complex. A book about voting, friendship, and the love of books, originally published in India, this wi ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a sweet book about a Yasmin, a girl who borrows a book every day from the free lending library on her street corner. One day, the library is forced to shut down because the owner, Book Uncle, cannot afford the new permit he requires after someone complains after the library. Yasmin rallies her friends and neighbors to help appeal to their electoral candidates to support Book Uncle, and get the library back where it belongs.

This is a quiet book (there's not much plot-driven action which
Menaka Sankaralingam
The story of Yasmin and Book Uncle.
Book Uncle runs a free lending library in the street corner.
Yasmin is his patron.
Book Uncle is in trouble with the authorities.
How Yasmin and her friends set out to save Book Uncle's library is narrated in an interesting and endearing way.
What children can do when they feel passionately for something.
Read a more detailed review at
A lovely story about reading and activism, and the importance of libraries.

Would be of special interest to anyone interested in the Little Free Library movement.
Adele Broadbent
Interspersed with black and white cartoon illustrations, this book looks just as interesting when you flick through it as the story actually is. Combining a story of getting involved to save something you believe in and an insight into another culture, Book Uncle was something a little different for this 7 - 10 year readership.
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the only thought while reading why wasn't this book published fifteen years back so I could have read it as a kid and it would have become a permanent part of my book shelf. loved the language, the plot, settings, characters and everything.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids
A very enjoyable read showing the importance of reading as well as the importance of activism. It is an empowering story that shows children that age doesn't matter - if you have an issue or something that you want to change you can do it.
Aug 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a giveaway on good reads.

A cute and funny story about friendship and love of books for young readers.

Hoping my granddaughter will love this story.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This story sneaks up on you and ends with a heart-tugging ending. I also have a soft spot for any book with a little free library-like setup.
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Book Uncle and Me" by Uma Krishnaswami is one of this month's selections for Chapter and Verse Book Club. The nine year old protagonist of "Book Uncle and Me," Yasmin, becomes an activist when Book Uncle, who runs a free lending library in front of her apartment complex, is forced to close his stall. This charming chapter book, appropriate for elementary school readers, has many positive qualities:

- Most importantly, "Book Uncle and Me" is timely. It promotes the idea that we all have a voice a
Amanda Brooke
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: elementary-reads
He says very softly, "Right book for the right person for the right day."

This book was on my purchase list which I started months ago(for my grade school library). While pruning the list it narrowly missed the cut. I could not remember why I had it on the list other than I recognized the author's name. I have been working hard to feature authors in my library that my students can relate to. Before the book arrived, I found it on display in my city library so I grabbed it and devoured it in a few
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book Uncle and Me is a sweet book about a little girl, Yasmin, who has a relationship with a man called Book Uncle. He runs a free operation of sharing books on the condition that you talk with him about the book upon return; if you decide to keep the book he’s cool with that too. It goes on to introduce many named characters and throws a little trouble into the mix.

The book can drag to a point where it might feel like it’s just wandering around. Eventually it straightens up and the wandering
I put off this book for far too long, but now I'm glad because it's a perfect book for today! Every day, nine-year-old Yasmin borrows a book from Book Uncle, a retired teacher who has set up a free lending library next to her apartment building. Yasmin is confused when one day he gives her a book that's an old folktale about a flock of doves trapped in a hunter's net. They realize that if they all flap wings together, they can lift the net and fly away to be safe. She knows Book Uncle often tell ...more
Jul 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Firstly, I don't think I've ready any children's books from an Indian author before so I was interested to see if the styles would be at all similar and what kind of themes would be explored. Secondly, this book is about two of my favorite things: books and community activism. :-D Our main character, Yasmin, is a voracious reader and she gets all of her books from a lending library run by Book Uncle who sets up his 'shop' on the corner by her apartment building. There is no price for these books ...more
Elisa Gutierrez
This book follows the story of a young book lover named Yasmin who wishes to read a book a day for the rest of her life. Books remain a constant in her life, even when she and her friends have a fight, or when her bully of an uncle comes to town, or when her friend is struggling with her parents fighting. Yasmin gets her books from Book Uncle, a local retired teacher who sets up a lending library on the corner of the road in front of her apartment complex. When a pink letter comes and effectivel ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #49 Read in 2018
Book Uncle and Me by Uma Krishnaswami

Book Uncle is a man who has a free lending library on the street corner by Yasmin's apartment complex. Her goal is to read a book a day forever and she has done so for 402 days. Then, the city tells Book Uncle that he must pay for a commercial permit or remove his lending library. He cannot afford a permit. Yasmin gets her classmates and neighbors involved with the upcoming election....getting people to pledge their vote to what candidate
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
All the stars to Book Uncle and Me. Beyond the usual early chapter book fare about children navigating family, friendships, and school, the plot concerns one girl's efforts to save her neighborhood's version of a little free library run by the Book Uncle. Yasmin (and the reader) learns about grassroots democracy, community, and citizenship. The characters are appealing and believable. Challenging words are defined in context. As a kid who loved to read, I would have enjoyed reading this book abo ...more
Danielle Booey
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diversity, juvenile
Who doesn't love a book about books?! Yasmine has a goal to read a book a day. Helping her in this quest is Book Uncle. Book Uncle is her neighborhood book lender. Everyday he takes carts of books out to the corner and let's people borrow them. No fines, no cards necessary. His motto is "the right book for the right person at the right time." Which I TOTALLY love.

Things get real, however, when Book Uncle is slapped with a notice that he can't lend his books anymore because he doesn't have a perm
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