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A Kind of Paradise

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  598 ratings  ·  143 reviews
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 library—as punishment. It may be boring, but at least she’ll be able to hide from mean girl Trina, who’s always had it out for her, and beautiful Trey, the boy at the root of her big mi ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  598 ratings  ·  143 reviews


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Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
A sweet middle grade love letter to libraries! Cozy and delightful. I may have rated it five stars had I read it sometime other than in the midst of a pandemic when libraries are closed and people are socially distancing. I was having some serious cognitive dissonance. But, it was still the sweetest!
Dee Dee G
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Beth Bonini
I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. Jorge Luis Borges


When life seems overwhelming, there is something incredibly comforting about reading a crackerjack ‘middle grade’ book. The best ones always impart life lessons about growing up, but unlike adult books, they can generally be counted on to serve up those lessons with humour, charm, optimism and the satisfying sense that things will work out in the end. In a children’s book, things ‘working out’ means that the mos
...more
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?) ...more
Chessa
A sweet middle grade love letter to public libraries!!! Excellent cast of characters.
vanessa
4.5. My library-loving heart is full. (I miss the library!)

This was a really cozy, sweet ode to public libraries, public library workers, and those regular patrons that frequent libraries. I loved the main character Jamie, an older tween incredibly embarrassed by something she did. The mortification is so real; I remember those days. But ultimately, her punishment is a good thing, as she discovers what working at the library is like. This is a soft and slower-paced book, but those are often my
...more
Kathie
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Edelweiss+ for an eARC of this book.

This was a very sweet, character-driven story for library lovers. I loved watching Jamie’s 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.
Laurence
This is a love letter to libraries/librarians everywhere.

I must admit, I have not been to my local library since I was a kid, and this made me want to go back and renew my library card.

In my opinion, this is a very slow read, because there isn’t really anything happening for most of the story. This is definitely a character based read. Thankfully, the characters were pretty memorable for the most part (especially two of the regulars that come in every week).
Renee
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 w
...more
Bookworman
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.😊💕
Janelle
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!
Emily Fledderjohann
If you love your library then you’ll love this book! I enjoyed the characters, the storyline and how Tan scattered famous literary quotes throughout. Tan uses story to remind us how important and essential libraries are and what they do for people. I know after reading this it makes me miss our library that much more. Can’t wait to visit my happy place again soon.
Ben French
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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.
...more
Shannon Navin
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.

Tan’s 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, she’s been ‘sentenced’ to communit
...more
Ms. Yingling
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 occasi
...more
Ragon Duffy
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dana Giusti
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Sara-Jo
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Becca
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You think middle grade is a safe bet when you’re trying to consume light and fluffy media because 2020 is putting you through it? Wrong, this book attacked me in my own home, which I am still leaving as little as possible.

A Kind of Paradise is a book about how important public libraries are to the community, how many small and big things they do for so many. How they provide opportunities to learn and grow and change, how they provide comfort and fun. How they let people both escape the world a
...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Jamie Bunn volunteers at the library as part of punishment for being caught in a cheating scandal at school. Initially resentful, the young teen learns to take responsibility for her actions while making a difference to the library, other librarians and patrons.

Jamie is a great narrator and main character. Despite her mistake, her moral compass is strong. She’s bright, funny, thoughtful and flawed. I’d love to see a sequel with her navigating eighth grade with her BFF Vic, MC of Amy Rebecca Tan’
...more
Sandi
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes bad choices can lead to unpleasant consequences. Yet even unpleasant consequences can turn out for good if you learn from them and have a right perspective. This was the case for 7th grader Jamie Bunn as she spent her summer “serving time” at her local library for a wrong choice she had made.

This was a delightful story and was made all the more enjoyable by an excellent narrator. I found myself looking forward to listening each day. Many of the characters were endearing like Sonja, Le
...more
balqis
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Where do I start with this...

I'm so emotional by the end of this book. At first, it's kinda slow for me to continue so I paused reading this for some days, but when i got back to this book again... i couldn't stop reading. I started to feel attached to all of the characters—especially Wally, oh Wally, what an incredible character I love him so much. I teared up, I feel warmth, I feel happy... all because of this book.

I'm forever grateful I found this book—even if it's accidentally. I hope a lot
...more
Julie
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’d like to start by saying that I am as much the target audience for this book as Fifty Shades was written for a nun, BUT I *adored* this middle grade. At one point in my earlier life, I too made a mistake and was assigned a volunteer term at my local public library much like the narrator of this book, my only wish is that I learned as much from my experience as Jamie did from hers. This book was fantastic. Young or old, there are lessons and values to teach/enrich everyone who reads it. Highly ...more
Beth Knight
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a great book, it was exactly what I needed right now. Taking place over one summer, the story was sweet and powerful, and parts of it were relatable to me, especially when the library director reminisced about how she used to play library with her sister. While I don’t have a sister myself, I used to play library with my two best friends, especially during our summer breaks. When we weren’t outside playing four square or riding our bikes (or playing library, lol) we were sitting in the shad ...more
Andrea
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chelsea
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 I’m into it
Beth Anne
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I read this as an ebook, evidence that it was the right book at the right time. Such a sweet and heartwarming love-letter to the necessity of libraries, of second-chances, and of growing up. I will be passing this along to Emma ASAP!
Andrea Selaty
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was refreshing and just what I needed right now. The audio book was fantastically narrated so you really got a feel for the characters personalities. The story was a sweet simple reminder of the little things and I just fell in love with it.
Megan
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So SO good!
Katie Fitzgerald
This 2019 middle grade novel is set in a small-town public library. Jamie Bunn, who is 13, made a poor decision at school and to make up for her mistake, she is doing community service hours as a library volunteer. As she observes the behavior of the mysterious Black Hat Guy, greets Wally who always borrows DVDs, and chats with Sonia at the circulation desk and Beverly in the director's office, Jamie develops a love for the library and slowly begins to turn the page on the embarrassing misstep t ...more
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