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The Story Collector

(The Story Collector #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  575 ratings  ·  151 reviews
In the tradition of E. L. Konisburg, this middle-grade mystery adventure is inspired by the real life of Viviani Joffre Fedeler, born and raised in the New York Public Library.

Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler has spent her whole life in the New York Public Library. She knows every room by heart, except the ones her father keeps locked. When Viviani becomes convinced that th
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Henry Holt & Company
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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From 2007 until about 2012 I had the distinct pleasure of working in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building of New York Public Library. It’s one of those parts of my working life I look back at with a little bit of amazement. For only one time in my life I could essentially say to someone, “You know that library with the big stone lions in front in New York City? Yeah. I work there.” Initially I worked in the Children’s Center at 42nd Street where I held Literary Salons, worked alongside the origina ...more
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle-grade readers, teachers, and anyone who wants a good story about a wonderful library!
Another one to go on my Best Of 2020 shelf; that’s two in a row now!
Reading this took me to a place that’s become dear to my heart in the past few years; the New York Public Library, with the lions in the front. For a book addict like me, the idea of living in a library and being able to explore it freely every night after it closes is just totally wonderful! That people actually did this in the 20’s and 30’s makes me deeply envious!
My very favorite part: Viviani scaling a card catalog to get to
Eleven-year-old Viviani Joffre Fedeler is a story collector and story teller. How could she be anything else, having been born and raised in the New York Public Library? She was born just three days before the library's grand opening, just after her father was hired as building Superintendent and moved in with the family. Viviani knows every inch of the library -except the off-limits places like her father's workshop. She longs to explore more and finally come up with her own story-a story about ...more
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
I understand I am not the target demographic and liked the historical setting, but am tired that in this day and age all librarians are still portrayed as shushing or tittering at a male authority. I'm sure there were some that were wonderful, even back then...
The Reading Countess
*Thanks to the author, Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, for the free copy of this magical tale. All opinions are my own.

Gather around, my friends, and you will hear a fantastic story seemingly too impossible to be true. A family living in apartments in THE NYPL? A baby born among the books, her first cries ricocheting off of the shelves? The family's children playing baseball, complete with the newly-published Winnie the Pooh, as a base, in the library? A valuable stamp collection displayed in said libra
Shelle Perry
Is there anything more amazing than visiting your local library? How about living in a library? I suppose that not every kid has a fantasy to live in a library 24/7, but I sure did. I couldn't of course, I came as close as I could. Throughout my school days, I spent as much time in the campus libraries as I could. I was in city libraries daily during breaks and as an adult, I am delighted that my child walks to his local branch near daily (mostly to get books for me) and jumps at the chance to ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I purchased this book from the gift shop of the New York Public Library, and was amazed to learn that it was inspired by the life of a girl who lived in the library with her family. Her father was the superintendent, and they spent years with the library as their playground to explore, just like Viviana in this story. The appeal of living in a library and the adventures that take place after the doors close to the public is extremely appealing, and definitely drew me into the story.

In historical
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well. This book is perfect. Just absolutely enthrallingly, stunningly perfect.
Shannon Minner
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler and her family live in the New York Public Library where her dad is the superintendent. She had her siblings are constantly playing in the stacks and being sushed by the librarians. Not only does Viviani love to read but she also loves to tell stories. That is until new student Merit Mubarak comes to town and calls her a liar. In her quest to prove herself Viviani sets out to trick Merit and ther
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so beautiful!!! One of my favorites. The writing was so vivid and the details made you feel like you were there. The author did an amazing job with the accuracy of the library, city, and characters (many of them, including the MC, were real). Such a fun read.
Lauren Sapp
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Several months ago, I spied this story on a list of upcoming 2018 releases and immediately added it to my TBR list. A historical fiction novel about a girl living in the New York Public Library? I was HOOKED. In this story, we have Viviani, a curious, imaginative eleven-year-old who lives in the NYPL with her family, as her father serves as the library superintendent. Viviani loves stories, especially sharing them with her classmates at school and using them to make her best friend, Eva, laugh. ...more
Arkham Reviews
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed-on-blog
Actual rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Story Collector is an interesting piece of historical fiction as it paints a beautiful picture of what New York City was like in the 1920s. You really do get a fantastic feel of the places that Vivani visits, but primarily the Public Library which serves as her home. As the author's note and timeline in the back of the book points out, a lot of elements of this story are true. Vivani really existed and her father did work as the superintendent of the library. This
Melody Schwarting
The Story Collector would have been one of my favorites as a child, had it been written years ago. A charming story about the family who lived in the New York Public Library and their adventures in the stacks, The Story Collector is a fun reading experience for bibliophiles. Except for the part where they play baseball in the library with picture books as bases. No one should treat The House at Pooh Corner like that! Fully with the shushy librarians on this one. (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love books in which the setting of New York City becomes nearly as central as one of the characters or plot elements. I have so many favorites: picture books, chapter books, adult fiction, kids nonfiction. So The Story Collector was a natural for me. The fact that the specific location in NYC is the New York City Public -- the main branch with the lions out front -- well, how could I resist?

I wasn't disappointed. The Story Collector is a light family story with a bit of mystery thrown in, and
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-libraries
3 stars for the story, but I bumped it up a star for the beautiful writing - see examples below:

"Some people are story collectors. While others collect seashells, or stuff animals, or stamps, story collectors wrap themselves in words, surround themselves with sentences, and play with participles, even those pesky, perky dangling ones. They climb over Cs and mount Ms and lounge in Ls. Soon enough they land in the land of homonyms, then, wham! They stumble into onomatopoeia, that lovely creaking,
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
THE STORY COLLECTOR, by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, is a charming and whimsical story about a girl who lives in the New York Public Library in the early 1900's. The amazing fact, however, is that the story is based on the life of Viviani Fedeler, a real girl who did indeed grow up in that amazing environment of books all around. Viviani roams through the exhibits, explores the hidden corners of the basement, and invites her friends over for sleepovers. She is even instrumental in solving the theft o ...more
Elizabeth Seals
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Imagine you live in a library, but you live in the New York Public Library (I didn't know that people lived there)! It sounds like a dream come true for those of us that work in libraries, right? Viviani is a firecracker redhead that plays baseball in the New York Public Library in 1928 with her brothers, John Jr. and Edouard, and her best friend Eva. Viviani tends to stir up mischief and avoids the janitor, Mr. Green because he's a cannibal! She collects stories from anyone she can find, and al ...more
I love the homage to books and reading since it's in a new collection of books published in/around/for publicity for the New York Public Library but I was more captivated by the note at the end of the real Viv and her story being *swoon* born in a library and raised for the first 15 years of her life with her family because her dad was the library's superintendent.

BUT, the fictionalized story, while adventurous and squarely middle grade with it's silliness, humor, intrigue, and light, did not d
I’m a librarian and was immediately drawn to this book about an eleven-year-old girl who lives at the NY Public Library. How wonderful! Each chapter correlates to a Dewey Decimal number, so that makes this story even more exciting. Set in the 1920’s, The Story Collector evokes the time period well with black-and-white drawings, old timey language, and wholesome hijinks. Viviani is a spirited character, and the mystery that unfolds inside of the library was fun to read. Part historical fiction, p ...more
Kristina Callender
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
A tale for story lovers of all generations to enjoy. I love the author's note at the end explaining the historical significance of this book. I couldn't help being jealous of Viviani being born and raised in the flagship New York Public Library.
I love how the main character appreciates stories as part of our identity. I agree that it's the unique mix of stories in our lives that makes us a tiny bit different from everyone else. Stories do help make sense of big feelings and unexplainable thin
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I chewed through this clever tale in three days! Not only were the plot and characters charming, but Kristin Tubb provided great facts about children's classics, Dewey Decimal call numbers, the NYPL's history, and some legitimate laugh-out-loud moments. Great for fans of E. L. Konigsburg, Betty MacDonald, and Jeanne Birdsall.
Tj Shay
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb is an amazing author. I’ve read all of her books and they just keep getting better. The Word Collector is the latest. It’s historical; fiction and I’m amazed at just how much history was contained in this book. An adventure, a mystery, an wonderful book.
Ms. Yingling
Jun 06, 2018 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic and magical middle grade novel that depicts the real family that lived in the NYPL in 1929. Loved everything about it!
Melissa Mcavoy
Kids living in the New York public library during the early 20th century, solving mysteries...I worried this might be checking too many sweet spots for a librarian to wholesomely like.
Refreshingly, and accurately the characters reflect the immigrant melting pot of the time, though no sign of contemporary racial prejudices appear. I liked the characters more than I expected to. The mystery is not much of a puzzle, which does rob the book of some punch, but it is enjoyable and should satisfy midd
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderfully old fashion story about a family who lives in the New York Public Library, and spend their days playing in secretive places they aren't permitted to enter.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many good quotes in this- and a cute kid adventure story!
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Viviani Fedeler was a real girl who really DID live in the New York Public Library with her family! Tubb takes the real story of Fedeler and some true details and stories from the library and uses them to weave a wonderful story of friendship, the power of stories, and a gentle mystery. My third graders loved this story. While we were all able to predict the "whodunit", everyone loved reading of the children playing baseball in the library, related to the challenges of developing friendships and ...more
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
While I loved the idea of this book (a girl who LIVES in the NYPL!), I just couldn't get into it. The story seemed a little awkward to me. We don't find out until much later why she's writing to her "friend" and I didn't understand the story collector at first. I wish the story was developed a little better and maybe would have been more about Viviani's life, rather than her trying to trick a new girl.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combining Editions 2 10 Sep 17, 2018 11:00AM  

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