Pyramid, cathedrallibrary? Yes, the story of the construction of the new Central Library in Minneapolis has as much drama as any of the great sagas of building. The third central library in Minnesota's largest city, this glowing glass lantern is the result of input from many sources; from the architect, Cesar Pelli, to librarians, citizens, and patrons of all ages. As the story unfolds, young readers can observe the materials being used: huge but elegant cement pillars, yellow Minnesota limestone, acres of etched glass, and a cantilevered steel wing. Teens will envy Teen Central, a glass cube hanging over the street with red shelves and puffy purple and green seats, to say nothing of books, CDs, DVDs, and games. Vogel offers some library history, too, including pictures of the city's first neo-Romanesque library and information about library heroes Benjamin Franklin, Melvil Dewey, and Andrew Carnegie. Interviews with a city council member, a librarian, and an architect add texture to the telling, while abundant color photos of the construction show equipment, workers (among other tasks, exercising to warm up for the arduous day's work), and some tricky maneuvering needed to assemble a complex and unusual edifice. The crowning touch is a planetarium, still under construction. This documentary would be perfect for lovers of David Macaulay's architecture books and newer ones like Hopkinson and Ransome's Sky Boys (Schwartz & Wade, 2006) about building the Empire State Building. There is a good glossary and lists of books and web sites about other U.S. and world libraries. 2007, Millbrook, Ages 12 up.
Barbara L. Talcroft
Gr 4-6-A fact-filled look at the design and construction of the new Central Library of the Minneapolis Public Library, which opened its doors in May 2006. Vogel includes a brief overview of the library's history and plenty of details and trivia relating to this specific library system and public libraries in general. Interviews with key personnel, including Library Director Kit Hadley, a City Council member, an architect, a steelworker, and a children's librarian are interspersed throughout the narrative. A mix of color photographs and archival graphics enliven the text. While librarians and local library supporters will probably be this book's most receptive audience, youngsters interested in architecture and construction will also find much to excite them.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.