Blog tour: ‘We Want Our Books,’ by Jake Alexander.

During lockdown, we came to appreciate just how much we relied on our library to keep our supply of information books up-to-date – particular during the school holidays. The (thankfully) temporary closing of our library was a huge loss for us and many others – including Rosa and her sister….

‘From the winner of the Macmillan Prize 2019, We Want Our Books is a stunningly illustrated story that shows how any child has the power to change the world.

Rosa wants a book. But when she gets to the library, she finds it is closed. What could be the end of the story is just the beginning, as Rosa and her sister Maria try everything they can think of to bring their community together and fight to get back their precious library.’

It’s fantastic to see a story about young people taking action, bringing their community together, to fight for change and get back their library. This story beautifully highlighted the importance of collective action and, of course, libraries for everyone. Rosa’s empathy and determination shone throughout this thought-provoking story.

The illustrations are an absolute joy to behold. They’re absolutely packed full of interesting characters a s clever little details to get readers thinking. I particularly love some of the illustrations of the villains of the piece (the developers) and the toddler-esque reactions they have to Rosa’s campaign. The end-paper designs are also complete genius. You’ll have to take a look yourself when you get a copy of the book…

Although libraries are mainly about books, they are also about much more than that. Toddler groups, gaming workshops, employment skills, a safe place to take shelter – libraries are the beating hearts of so many communities and we’re at risk of losing them if we don’t use them. I very much hope that the reduced opening hours which many services have had run over the past year won’t become the norm. Now more than ever, people need access to communal spaces, and access to books, glorious books to provide them with gateways to other worlds.

This is Jake Alexander’s debut book, borne out of his love for libraries and in response to public spending cuts which has meant more underprivileged children and adults are unable to discover a love of reading which could change their lives.

For me the message is very clear: Use it, or lose it! How often do you visit your local library? How could you make better use of the varied services it provides?

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Two Hoots Books for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour*

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