Dusty Book: Portable Childhoods by Ellen Klage

This short story collection may be collecting dust on your library’s shelves, because it’s not genre short stories, it’s not a bestselling author, and it’s not even from a large publisher.  But oh, the stories.  Klage weaves the everyday with the slightly bizarre, giving her stories a hint of magic that doesn’t scream “magical realism” or “fantasy”.  (Bordering on, yes.  But not screaming.)  Think modern fairytales.

The opening tale, “Basement Magic”, is the story of a lonely little girl and the friendship she discovers with the family’s maid (and some electrifying revenge on her wicked stepmother).  And the final story, In the House of the Seven Librarians”, is a riff on Sleeping Beauty, with immortal librarians acting as the fairy godmothers.

Hand this one to someone looking for something different than their usual reading fare.  This is the kind of book that cries out for handselling.

(and a big shout out to Neil Hollands for mentioning this title on Book Group Buzz – I don’t think I would have ever come across it otherwise.  Ah, that’s what I love about book blogs!  Finding a gem.  Hopefully ShelfRenewal is doing that for some of you as well!)




About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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