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A Kind of Paradise

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  328 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Amy Rebecca Tans debut novel is a heartwarming middle grade coming-of-age story about the power of community, the power of the library, and the power of forgiveness.

Jamie Bunn made a mistake at the end of the school year. A big one. And every kid in her middle school knows all about it. Now she has to spend her summer vacation volunteering at the local libraryas
ebook, 304 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  328 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Dee Dee G
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a cozy middle grade read. I loved the library as the main setting. To me this was about making things right after a mistake and moving forward. Also a good lesson of things turning out better than we think they will.
Brandy Painter
I don't know how many kids out there will want to read a quiet, introspective book about the politics of public libraries and their usage, but this is a good one. It's one of those books that when it finds the right reader will be a favorite. It's just getting it into the right hands. I did have some questions about how on earth the middle school in this town operates. (Jane Eyre. Really?)
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet middle grade love letter to public libraries!!! Excellent cast of characters.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss+ for an eARC of this book.

This was a very sweet, character-driven story for library lovers. I loved watching Jamies confidence grow throughout the summer as her wonderful mentors helped her realize some important life lessons. It inspires me to go to back to work at my library tomorrow with an open heart, and a willingness to listen.
Dana Giusti
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: j-fic
I loved this book! It was such a cozy read, and is a total love letter to libraries. Additionally, this is a great read for kids who are having trouble moving on after making a mistake-there are great lessons within it!
Ben French
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What starts as a fairly normal teen drama book and coming of age story quickly turns into a love letter to public libraries and the role they play in a community. Highlighted through throwing more focus on the individuals that visit it. Including the lead character Jamie Bunn forced into work she later enjoys because of a stupid mistake.

Overall it's a sweet book and as a public librarian I find the messages it gives wholesome and important in the current climate of budget cuts and closures.
Shannon Navin
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a book nerd like me, you have to love a book that reads like love letter to libraries! Add in a quirky, lovable cadre of characters and a strong sense of what it means to be a middle schooler and you have the absolute winner that is A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan.

Tans story features Jamie, a middle school girl who has gotten into trouble (and been humiliated about it by a classmate) at the end of the school year. Because of her transgression, shes been sentenced to community
Ms. Yingling
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Jamie knew what she was doing was wrong, but she had such a crush on Trey and thought she was helping him. Instead, she ended up being publicly shamed by the school and Trey's twin sister, Trina, who posted her apology letter to Trey on social media. Now, unable to hide in her room all summer long, Jamie has to spend 15 hours a week volunteering at the public library. It's not too bad; there's air conditioning, friendly staff like Sonia, Beverly and Lenny, and the
Ragon Duffy
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this out loud to Alice and we both really enjoyed it. It was different from our usual reads of more fantastical books and this kind of quiet, realistic fiction was a nice thing for us to share. Some of the themes around bullying and crushes and homelessness were nice ways for us to talk about some new topics and I appreciated that it was subtle in its messaging rather than obvious.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan is heart warming, engaging. The characters are unique and the story itself kept me wanting to read more of it. It highlights the angst of not so great choices, their consequences and what it takes to overcome them. Add in a bit of librarian romance and I was hooked. I was also amazed at how Ms. Tan captured the essence, feelings and challenges of a being a 10 year old girl ~ she was truly spot on!

My favorite part of this book is the library and the people
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I loved, LOVED this book! I loved the story, I loved the characters, I loved learning about spine poetry, I loved the famous quotes that were integrated into the story, and then, to top it off, all the references to Jane Eyre! Awesome, awesome book!

Thank you, Dee Dee G, for having this on your booklist! I would never had known about it otherwise.😊💕
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tan so very accurately depicts life in a public library....the laughs, the sorrows, the worries and the joy. A wonderful read from start to finish!
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any librarians will instantly relate to this book! Super lovely story about a good girl who makes one dumb mistake and has to spend her summer volunteering at the public library as punishment.Her character growth is great, as are the mean kids and adults around her. A rallying call for why we need libraries disguised as a kids book ? Anyways Im into it ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This is a sweet and positive story about libraries and the challenges faced by a middle school student. as a librarian it was hard to resist its positive spin on the importance of libraries in our communities and as well as the wisdom and kindness of librarians.
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So SO good!
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Curl up with this middle grade novel, which will remind you of the importance of libraries in so many ways! So adorable! 4.5 stars
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book about a library! I loved reading about all the characters and the daily adventures at the library. I work at a library so I appreciated all her details that she included!
Ms Threlkeld
Compelling and fun love letter to libraries.
Jenn Bishop
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is so charming -- an absolute must-read for anyone who has worked in a library.
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are two kinds of people in a librarian's world: card-handers and card-droppers. Card-handers are the people who don't take you for granted, who smooth interactions with grace, even if they seem brief or inconsequential. Card-droppers, who drop their cards on the counter instead of handing them to the librarian, can't be bothered to use basic human courtesy.

This is just one of the many lessons Jamie learned from her forced community service at her local library because of an infraction at
This is a YA book about a middle school girl who foolishly breaks the honor code at her school at the end of 7th grade and is assigned to work at her town's library as a means of atonement. It all seems to come together at the end, but it was hard for me to engage with the characters. I'm sure some middle schoolers would like this one -- there are lots of Jane Eyre references, and the girl, Jamie Bunn, grows emotionally through her interactions with the library patrons and librarians.
Jamie Bunn was only trying to help the boy she had a crush on, but she ends up getting herself caught up in a cheating scandal at school. So her punishment is to do community service at her town's public library.

While spending her summer at the library, she comes face to face with members of the community she would not normally interact with: an elderly patron who tries to downplay his health issues, a man who has come on financial hard times, and even the girl who humiliated Jamie in front of
M. Rigby Barington
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
A beautifully told tale of a young girl, Jamie Bunn, who has an... let's say incident at school. Everyone at school ridicules her for what happened, and because of what she did, she has to spend almost the entire summer working at the library. She begins this punishment very angrily - she should be having fun, hanging out with her friends (er... friend), taking a vacation, and just doing what a 13-year-old such as herself would do when school got out! But as she encounters new people, like a dog ...more
Lonna Pierce
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Seventh grader, Jamie Bunn is sentenced to community service at the Foxfield Public Library for an entire summer due to breaching her Middle School Code of Ethics. After this one stupid move in an otherwise blameless school career, Jamie prefers to hide in her room & die of embarrassment, but her mom is having none of that. Instead, she finds quirky patrons and wonderful library staff that change her life and outlook forever. She finds redemption by summer's end, new friends, great advice ...more
Afoma Umesi
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Kind of Paradise is unique in the way its written. Author Amy Rebecca Tan writes Jamies experience with each person she meets, titling related chapters by the individuals name. So a few chapters are titled Trina, Sonia, Beverly, and the like. The books subject matter is also unique. It is clearly a love letter to libraries everywhere, and as Jamie discovers, libraries are more than just books.

The protagonist is achingly human and readers will recognize in Jamie the struggles of being young and
Heydi Smith
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is basically librarian candy. It touches many of the issues facing libraries today. It was a breath of fresh air to read this story that wasn't entirely about immature topics that kids won't even remember in a couple of years but about real world issues that are impacting our communities today.

I really enjoyed this story. Working in the library world it was kind of 'on the nose' for me but at the same time it's not a topic you see anywhere in fictional literature often, especially in a
Narrative Muse
Read this if: A light-hearted read that celebrates the paradise of libraries could be just the thing.

A Kind of Paradise is a standout novel by Amy Rebecca Tan, which reads like a love letter to libraries. Within the opening pages we knew that Tan must be a librarian herself, because her words were spine-tinglingly authentic. Thirteen-year-old Jamie is forced to work at her local library during the summer as punishment for a romantic gesture gone terribly wrong. We loved her character
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a special affinity for books about books and stories set in a bookshop or library are some of my favorites. So, when someone suggested A Kind of Paradise, I was instantly drawn to it and of course, ended up borrowing it from my favorite public library.

At first, I wasnt sure if I would like it as much as I expected, but that was soon to change. By the time I reached this line, I was in love:

. . . when his nightmare burst the seams of his brain and shattered all over the library.

Kerry Dunn
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
What a sweet sweet middle grade story! A perfect little testament to the power of the public library. Well drawn, fully fleshed characters populate this bibliophile world. My only slight critique is of the premise of how the main character, Jamie, ends up doing her community service in the library. That plot point is rather odd. Almost convoluted? But the rest of the story is charming. And as someone who worked in a bookstore for years, I definitely understood the cast of regulars who visited ...more
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg
A thoroughly captivating story. Jamie Bunns mistake is not only totally out of character, it violates her middle schools Honor Code and thanks to her mortal enemy, makes her infamous. And if that isnt bad enough, her punishment is to spend the ENTIRE summer volunteering at the local library, completely ruining all her summer plans. But rather than this being the worst experience of her life, Jamie discovers an interesting cast of characters and that everyone has their own story. I have been bent ...more
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