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The Story Collector: A New York Public Library Book

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  86 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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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  272 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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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
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
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
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...
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
Kim Dyer
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
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
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
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
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 thing
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
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Walsh
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
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many good quotes in this- and a cute kid adventure story!
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.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 3-6

Would you like to grow up living in the massive, beautiful, historical New York Public Library? If you are a book lover you should say yes! What if I told you it was haunted by the ghost of a man named Big Red? This is exactly where eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler grew up with her two brothers. Viviani is a terrific storyteller and adventurer and somestimes both of these things can get her in trouble. One night when her and her best friend, Eve, sneak into her father's worksho
My little book-loving heart was extremely envious of Viviani Joffre Fedeler, the protagonist of this middle grade mystery. Although the author has taken liberty with the life story of the real Viviani, she really did live and play in the New York Public Library where she was born in 1917. Because her father was the superintendent for the building, the family lived on the premises, and Viviani and her brothers got to explore many parts of it. Not surprisingly, Viviani loves stories--both reading ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
The Story Collector by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, 233 pages. Henry Holt (MacMillan), 2018 $16.99. Language: G (0 swears, 0'f') Mature Content: G; Violence: PG.



11-year-old Viviana Fedeler lives in the New York Public Library! It's 1928 and her father is the library Superintendent, so Viviana and her family live in an apartment in the beautiful building. She is a story teller, and at recess entertains her friends in the school yard, but whe
Exciting and interesting children's book where you step into life within a library, literally. Viviani lives in the local library with her two older brothers and her parents. She learns valuable life lessons not only from her family and friends, but from the ghost of the library, all the while saving the day from the stamp thief.

I had a hard time adjusting to the didactic and narrative writing style in the first chapter, but after the first few chapters, I was hooked. I enjoyed the chapter headi
Rachel Cannon
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
The Story Collector tells the tale of Viviani Fedeler, who was a real person born and raised in the New York Public Library. Viviani lives up to her name—she is vivacious! She looks for ways to entertain herself in the library, often causing mischief. When she meets a new girl who is so interesting it is annoying, and who calls Viviani out on her tall tales, Viviani decides to play a trick on her, with the help of her brother and best friend. She hosts a sleepover at the library with the plan to ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Viviani Joffre Fedeler has spend all of her eleven years living in the New York Public Library. In fact, she was born there. Thanks to her father being the building's superintendent, Viv spends her time exploring the rooms, the stacks, and every nook of the library. She considers herself a story collector, so she collects all the stories of the library to recount to all her friends at school. But a new student, Merit, doesn't find Viv's stories to be much fun. She actually considers them to be ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: j-books, scary
Takes place in the New York Public Library and the chapters are headed with Dewey numbers so I was prepared to love it but didn't quite. The characters are children of the building super so they have the run of the place and they're Eloise-at-the-Plaza annoying. Also the library in Depression era New York is strangely under-populated, patrons and staff both. It's based on a true story and descriptions of the library in that era are interesting. There's a rumor of a ghost and it's only sorta scar ...more
Delores Thomas
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Even though this is a children’s book I figured a mystery story concerning the New York Public Library should be interesting. It takes place during the early 1900s.

A family lived in the library since the father was the custodian. His children were quite precocious and played among the stacks night and day. A stamp collection was displayed in the library and was stolen one of the evenings that the children had a sleepover. They decide to try to solve the theft so their father would not lose his
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Goodreads Librari...: Combining Editions 2 10 Sep 17, 2018 11:00AM  
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“When nightfall weaves its way through the New York Public Library, it is nothing shy of magic. Long stretched of sunlight on marble morph from white to yellow to pink to orange to red, the dim slowly, completely. Shadows yawn and stretch awake. Eighty-five miles of books on shelves blink away their daytime sleep, for book are often nocturnal creatures, ready to play. To roam. To hunt.” 0 likes
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