I hope no one minds if I toot my own horn here. If you’re in the mood for fantasy (and given today’s realities, who isn’t?) check out my review at latimes.com of Ursula Le Guin’s Voices, her veiled critique of the illiterate know-nothings who imperil our libraries.
I’m always enchanted reading my name in print, but like much Internet magic, it will vanish into the ether when the review is archived behind a firewall in a few days.
Below is an excerpt:
As cultural icons go, libraries have had it tough. When they’re not being razed, like the great library in Alexandria, Egypt, or sacked, like the ancient one in Baghdad by the Mongols, they’re beset by prudish people who’d pick the shelves clean of whatever offends them this week. Pity the poor children in whose name these battles are often waged.
Ursula K. Le Guin aims straight for the gut of this latter group — particularly the sort of bookish teen apt to read fantasies — by setting her latest young adult novel, "Voices," in a ruined household with a secret library, one that the city’s oafish conquerors are frantic to find and destroy.
Barbarians-versus-brainiacs may be well-trod turf, but Le Guin sure-footedly makes it new. She creates a protagonist with obvious appeal to her intended audience: a geeky girl with bad hair but a quick intelligence, who nurses a seething contempt for the illiterate thugs who run everything.
While I nominated this book for a Cybil, there’s still plenty of room in the fantasy category before the Nov. 20 deadline.
Thanks for reading,
—posted by Anne Levy, Book Buds Kidlit Reviews