Librarian on the Roof! A True Story

Overview

When RoseAleta Laurell begins her new job at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, she is surprised that the children of the town think the library is for adults. She vows to raise the money for a children's section and spends a week living and working on the library roof, even surviving a dangerous storm. With the help of the entire town, RoseAleta raises over $39,000 from within the community and across the country.

Today if you look through the front window of the ...

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Overview

When RoseAleta Laurell begins her new job at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, she is surprised that the children of the town think the library is for adults. She vows to raise the money for a children's section and spends a week living and working on the library roof, even surviving a dangerous storm. With the help of the entire town, RoseAleta raises over $39,000 from within the community and across the country.

Today if you look through the front window of the Eugene Clark Library, you will see shelves stacked full with children's books and tables and chairs just the right size. You will see artwork on the walls, and a row of busy computers. Best of all, you will always find crowds of children who love to read and learn inside the walls of the oldest library in Texas.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
This is an amazing and amusing story about the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas and its feisty new librarian RoseAleta Laurell, and it's all true. Laurell tries to wake up the dusty old library with new materials and some humor. But the children don't come. She realizes that they need their own space and materials. To raise the necessary funds, she climbs to the library roof, to stay until money is raised for the children's section. Her time up there is an adventure indeed; her success is a triumph. Cartoon-y characters express skepticism and wonder at Laurell's actions. Drawings of the library and town are crisply colored using photo editing software. A note fills in factual information behind the happy story. Check out the jaunty figures on the end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—When RoseAleta Laurell arrived at the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, TX, she found a beautiful old building rich in history but short on patrons, particularly children. Attendance improved as she updated the collection, pushed for computers, and addressed the needs of the Spanish-speaking community, but she needed substantial funding if she was going to provide an attractive and appropriate children's section. What does any dedicated librarian do in such a situation? RoseAleta elected to pack a tent and supplies and be hoisted 50 feet up to the library's roof, and to remain there until the town raised enough money for the children. She remained on the roof for one week, braving severe weather at times. When she descended, the town had raised almost $40,000, twice her original goal. King's writing is clear and often witty, and she does a credible job of capturing Laurell's determined and forthright personality, as well as the drama and excitement of this unusual approach to fund-raising. Gilpin's hand-drawn, vibrantly colored cartoon illustrations enliven the story, particularly the spread that depicts the woman being hoisted to dizzying heights. Librarians will enjoy sharing this tribute to one of their own, but so will anyone wanting an inspirational tale of a committed and ingenious professional.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
A laughing new librarian with "eyelashes as long as bird feathers" arrives at the creaky, almost-100-year-old library in Lockhart, Texas, and, to her surprise, the children do not use it because they say it's for grown-ups! Though RoseAleta buys new books and magazines, makes sure the library is buzzing, even leads a Christmas parade through the town square with a sign ("Come to the library!"), the children do not visit. She decides to create a space just for them, but nobody will contribute to the $20,000 required for the new space. "We need more than a bake sale," she says, and without further ado, she decides to camp out on the library's roof until the money is raised. Her meals are delivered via the electric company's bucket, and she even weathers a storm in her little tent, but the town rallies and the money is raised. Energetic, if slickly unsubtle drawings match the text and take advantage of the rooftop perspective with two vertically oriented double-page spreads of RoseAleta ascending and descending. Based on a true story, this will be popular with librarians and their readers. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807545126
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 646,643
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 14, 2011

    LOVED every word!!

    Every page this true story is cute, funny and charming. As a preschool teacher, I read aloud to kids daily, and this one had them spellbound. It's impossible not to root for quirky RoseAleta, and by the end, I guarantee you'll be cheering from well, the roof!

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    Highly Great story!!!!

    This is a great book based on a true story. The story is so cute for kids and I like that it promotes reading for kids. And the illustrator did a great job as well!!!! I hope MG King writes more kids books. I cant wait to share this book w/all the amazing children in my life.

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  • Posted August 31, 2010

    I loved this from the beginning!

    And I do mean "the beginning!" I have the good fortune to be in a writer's critique group with the author, M.G. King. in this group, we read our writing to each other, and I KNEW the first time I read the author's manuscript that this story would be a hit. It's funny, charming, inspiring, and the artwork is so FUN! Most of all, readers - children and adults alike - will be inspired by Roselita, the librarian, to find clever and smart ways to reach their dreams!

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  • Posted August 26, 2010

    Rocking on the library roof!

    When RoseAleta arrives at the Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas she finds few readers and no children. Desiring donations for books, children's furniture and computers, RoseAleta writes letters for donations but no money trickles in for the cause. However, when RoseAleta camps out on the roof, the town, Texas and the whole world notices. How long will she stay up there? Will she be successful? When will she come down?

    With humor and delightful art, Librarian on the Roof should be in every library and read to everyone. One person CAN make a difference!

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