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Saving Eli's Library

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Eli loves going to the library for Story Circle, but, one stormy day, the nearby river threatens to flood it. Eli and his dad must brave the storm to help save the books, and, when the storm is over, the whole town must come together to rebuild the library. Inspired by the residents of Lincoln, Vermont, who rebuilt their library on three separate occasions, Saving Eli's Library showcases one community's bigheartedness, and the power of water and nature.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published October 1, 2020

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About the author

Ruth Horowitz

8 books12 followers
I have worked as a librarian in a Catholic girls’ high school, raised two children, run for public office, taught Torah at a Hebrew school and served the causes of truth and grammar as a contributing editor at Vermont’s alternative weekly newspaper, Seven Days. I grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, and also spent part of my childhood in Paris. Since then I’ve lived in Los Angeles and Burlington, Vermont. I now live with my husband and write full time in Rhode Island. I recently completed a novel for adults.

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5 stars
45 (33%)
4 stars
56 (41%)
3 stars
32 (23%)
2 stars
2 (1%)
1 star
0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,402 followers
April 12, 2021
Thank god! All the books ended up being safe! Phew! What a story!

And what's with the alluring illustrations?!

I love, love, love the artstyle so much! It's bringing back lots of childhood memories.

And the best is this: the book is about books, libraries and story telling.

These kids are so lucky to have that amazing library and understanding adults.

I love this book so much!

Disasters will keep turning up but, yes, let's try our best to save the books too!
Profile Image for Andrew.
2,053 reviews49 followers
March 8, 2021
Ruth Horowitz and Brittany Jackson (Illustrator) do a great job of telling a delightful story. Eli, a boy who loves story circle and the cool things the library offers becomes concerned when a flood nearly destroys his hometown library. He and his community unite to save "Eli"'s library.

The story is based on a real library.
The illustrations are a delight.
Profile Image for Jane Smith.
Author 12 books12 followers
October 20, 2020
Saving Eli’s Library is a celebration of libraries and the communities that come together around them, both in good times and bad! Eli, who is big-hearted and brave, will empower kids to take action on things that matter to them and inspire kids to believe that they can make a difference in the world.
Profile Image for V.
736 reviews11 followers
December 13, 2021
Here's just a brief review to share a gem we keep returning to.

Saving Eli's Library is a feel-good inspired-by-a-true-story picture book about spontaneous civic responsibility. When Eli and his dad go to the library for story time, they discover that a flood is imminent and the books need to be moved above the flood line. With everyone who happens to be in the library that day, they spring into action. Although the rising river damages furniture and floors, the library's collection is safe because of librarians' and patrons' swift action. Eli is a relatable character – he loves his library, wants to help the people he cares about, and feels pride in his contribution to a successful venture. The story is suspenseful but not sensationalized; Horowitz and Jackson have created an engaging tale that invites conversation and inspires a young audience to appreciate how integral even the youngest members are in society. We've read this so many times I've lost track of how many; T continues to pick it out. Saving Eli's Library is a winner and I recommend it.

Back matter tells the true story that inspired this picture book.

Note: A review copy was provided for the purpose of an honest review. All thoughts are our own.
7,500 reviews28 followers
October 10, 2020
I received an electronic ARC from Albert Whitman & Company through Edelweiss+
I love the town spirit in this book. The community banded together to not only save as many of the books as possible but to clean up and rebuild what they lost. It's an excellent book to read as a group and talk about compassion and community work. Something all ages need to be reminded of at times.
Eli loves story time at the library. He enjoys the stories and hearing the river outside chime in with noises. One day a storm blows in and the river swells. His dad and he along with so many other friends work to save the library books and other equipment. They have to stop to get to safety before everything is done. When they survey the damage the next morning, Eli is sad at what is lost. The librarian shows him everything that was saved. Great reminder about perspective and attitude. The town then works to clean up the sludge and rebuild and restock the shelves. After weeks of work, the library is even better. Horowitz has created a lovely tribute to community action and town spirit. Together, people can accomplish anything.
Profile Image for Lisa.
2,250 reviews15 followers
March 15, 2021
Eli's favorite place is the library. He especially likes sitting on the braided rug and hearing stories from Miss Mudge. But one day, it rained so hard that the library and its books were in danger from a rising river, so Eli and his dad helped move all the books to the highest shelves before heading home in the driving rain. The books were saved, but the library was a mess - mud and water damage everywhere. Eli (and the town) all pitched in to save the library. Such a nice story about community partners.

I loved the illustrations, Eli is so cute and such a hard worker. An author's note at the end explains the source of the story. Saving Eli's Library would be a good story to start a conversation with a class on doing service or how kids can help with grown up projects.

Cross posted to https://kissthebookjr.blogspot.com/20...
Profile Image for Sandy Brehl.
Author 8 books131 followers
September 2, 2020
The Author's note at the back reveals a beleaguered Vermont library that was continually rebuilt over the years following repeated natural disasters. The most recent was a flood in which only the books on the highest shelves and those checked out to patrons survived.
This fictional story features Eli, a story time fan, who helps save books as a flood threatens, then assists in the clean up and restoration with other community members. As libraries are resuming their place as essential in society, especially during and post Covid, this story will tug at hearts and demonstrate examples of strength in numbers.
Profile Image for Jillian.
665 reviews6 followers
April 3, 2023
Read as an ebook

As much as I really enjoyed this story, it is evidence as to why I need to stop reading so many picture books and reviewing them outside of work: I have nothing to say.

I loved the artwork. I enjoyed the story of a young boy and his community banning together to save the local library. But I don’t have anything else more cohesive to say beyond that. It was a sweet story. It showed children that even small contributions can go a long way. Yet I feel like I am still reaching, because I’m not well trained in reviewing picture books.

That aside, I still really enjoyed Saving Eli’s Library and would recommend it to other library lovers.
Profile Image for Doe Boyle.
27 reviews
September 18, 2020
Based on the true story of a library in Lincoln, Vermont, rescued and refurbished when the rushing waters of the New Haven River overflowed its banks, this fictional tale reveals that a robust and generous community response from volunteers can really make a difference in weather emergencies. It also exuberantly demonstrates the vital importance of libraries, not just as collections of shared books but as centers of community life.
5 reviews
October 9, 2020
This book tells the story of a little boy, Eli, who loves reading about heroes in his beloved library. When an act of nature damages the library, Eli learns that heroes are not only found in books. A good story to read to children as an example of the power that they have to make a difference. Nicely illustrated.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,151 reviews
December 22, 2022
When Eli's favorite place in the world is threatened by flooding, his family and the whole town comes out to save the precious library. Read about Eli's bravery in Saving Eli's Library by Ruth Horowitzh. Don't forgt to read about more brave library lovers in the Author's note at the back of the book! For ages 3 - 8.
Profile Image for Natalie.
1,919 reviews
April 11, 2020
Received an ARC courtesy of the publisher via Edelweiss

I have a soft spot for books about libraries and reading. I enjoyed this charming story about how a library was repaired after a flood. It had a good message about how things do get better though you might have to put in some work.
Profile Image for Bonnie Grover.
805 reviews10 followers
July 15, 2020
“There once was a town that saved its library.” This is a fictional story that was inspired by the true story of a library in Lincoln, Vermont. After a flood nearly destroys the local library, the town works together to help it reopen. Libraries a great places for stories.
Profile Image for Danielle Dufayet.
Author 8 books8 followers
October 2, 2020
Saving Eli's Library is an ode to all the libraries we love and cherish. Full of heart and suspense, it shows how teamwork and community can save the day, or in this case, a wonderful library. Every library should have this book, not to mention every children's book shelf.
Profile Image for Aimée Bissonette.
Author 12 books29 followers
October 12, 2020
An ode to libraries and the kids who love them! This book reminds us of the little things that are dear to little people (like story hour on the library rug) and the desire of those same little people to help when things go wrong. A great community building book, too. Nice job, Eli!
Profile Image for Erin.
2,271 reviews
June 2, 2021
A simple, honest story about a town banding together to save a library from a coming flood. It is told like a nonfiction retelling, even though it is fiction based on a true story. I love any book about books!
Profile Image for Lisa D.
3,054 reviews27 followers
November 22, 2020
What a beautiful book about a community saving its beloved library& the power of nature!
Profile Image for Pinky.
6,608 reviews14 followers
February 10, 2021
Eli helps out cleaning up his library after a flood caused damage inside.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
31 reviews2 followers
April 30, 2021
Great content and nice breakout of services at libraries. Love the work of volunteers and mention of Friends of the Library which are a huge backbone of public branches.
527 reviews4 followers
April 24, 2022
Saving Eli's Library is an affirming story, given that it actually happened. A valuable lesson in collective action, and that everyone is able to help and contribute.
Profile Image for Alexandra Alessandri.
Author 6 books86 followers
October 30, 2020
Ruth Horowitz's SAVING ELI'S LIBRARY is such a beautiful story about a community coming together in the aftermath of a storm to save the library. The text is absolutely lyrical, Eli's character is endearing, and the illustrations are sweet, bringing this story to life.
Profile Image for Chris Tebbetts.
39 reviews
October 14, 2020
Ruth Horowitz (full disclosure: a friend of mine) always knocks her picture books out of the park. I especially love this one for its basis in a true life, Vermont story about the flooding of the Lincoln Libary, and for the way she tells such a full and satisfying story within the confines of a fast-moving picture book. This one ticks a lot of boxes--great for book- and library-lovers; Vermont-ophiles; people with an interest in the power of community; and for that matter, young history buffs. Definitely one for the permanent collection!
Displaying 1 - 29 of 29 reviews

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