The Inappropriate Library by Kim Isaac Greenblatt, copyright 2008, all rights reserved
Please find some pages from the Inappropriate Library, coming soon from Shockingly Awesome Press. The book is the first in a series of fantasy books. Please note that the title of one of the chapters is "Excerpt From Fun Facts of the Ancient World 1102 AD Edition" and that is not an excerpt.
For comments and feedback please email the author Kim Greenblatt - thank you for your interest in the series!
I didn't have much say in the decision to move to New Alexandria. It was Mom's decision and Veronika (yeah, she is pretentious and spells her name now with a "k", I know, I know), and I went along with it. My mom wanted to move out of L.A. while she had some equity in the house that Dad left us and she said she was sick and tired of the rat race.
I was kind of pissed off but she said I could still play X-Box Live with my friends. I mean, they can still visit me and stuff but we could still talk with headsets so it is still cool.
New Alexandria, California is just north of Santa Barbara. We drove up in about half a day and the weather was pretty good for California winter.
We had winds going 80 miles an hour and the U-Haul truck we were in only swerved towards the railing once while we were on PCH. I almost peed my pants when that happened.
Mom, Veronika and I were all huddled together in the truck's cab. When the gust hit we slid sideways about two feet onto oncoming traffic and an angry looking older man and his wife driving a Lexus nearly hit us. They braked just in time and looked just as scared as we probably did.
Mom paid some local guys to help haul our stuff into our new house. The new house was about the size of our old one, a four bedroom one level house and we had a larger yard then back in Los Angeles. Mom had gotten a job with the city of Alexandria as a city accountant and said that she would make as much as she would staying in Los Angeles.
We started school in January, which wasn't too bad and we had half a year left before summer. I was going to turn 14 in March and eighth grade was pretty much eighth grade as far as I was concerned. As long as I could play my video games and skate I was cool.
I met the neighbors, the Mendozas right away. They were an older couple and they had a daughter, Tricia. She was my age and in a couple of my classes. What was really weird was that none of the kids had cell phones, ipods or any computers at home.
Books. Lots and lots of books.
After school one day, I just asked Tricia about it.
"Tricia, what's the deal with all these books?"
She took me to the library.
The City of New Alexandria Library was located in the heart of town next to the City Hall and across the street from the fire and police departments. The building was made of brick and looked like it had been around for a long time. I walked to the library with Tricia since it wasn't too far away from our houses. The air was cool later in the day and the sun was starting to set. There were a lot of other kids and grown ups walking in and out of the library. Tricia is a little taller than me and was wearing a black jacket to match her long black hair and black tights. She was wearing short black boots. I liked her.
She was hot.
I was trying to play it cool with her and a cool thing about moving to a new town was that she would get to know me for me now and not as somebody who had done something stupid in the second grade.
Points scored for you, Mom.
We walked into the Library. The doors looked like they had some scripture on them that looked like it was some ancient language. For all I know it could have been some calligraphy of some English words but it sure looked older to me. I walked inside. Footsteps made a clackety-clackety sound over a grill on the floor as we approached the main room.
There was a rotunda in the center of a big hallway. All around the rotunda were shelves of books. Children and adults were all over the library reading.
"Ah, can I help you?" asked a tall, thin man from behind the rotunda.
"Mr. Ptolemy, this is Billy North. He just moved to town and he needs a library card."
"Okay, Tricia. Nice to meet you, Mr. North." he extended his hand.
I reached over to shake it. It was like shaking hands with electricity or something. You know that feeling you get when you walk on a shag rug in your socks and go and try and shock your sister? It was a lot like that only weirder. When he let go the tingling continued in my hand for about another minute.
"Quite a handshake you have there, Mr. North."
"Uh, whatever and call me Billy."
He pulled out a library card application from seemingly nowhere and handed it to me with a pen.
"Just fill out the information and I can issue you a temporary card until one of your parents signs the form and you bring it back to me."
It took about two minutes to fill out the application. Mr. Ptolemy seemed to be talking to himself as he typed the information into a computer terminal. He printed out a paper library card with my name on it. He handed me back the application.
"Make sure your mom or dad signs this. Bring it back to me tomorrow."
The way he said it sounded more like a command and I was scared if I didn't do it something would happen to me.
I took the application and folded it in my pocket. Where did Tricia go?
Tricia was walking over to a series of shelves. As I started to walk towards her I was knocked down onto my butt. I looked up and saw a big beefy blonde haired kid.
"Hey jerk, you got in Big Jim's way. Aren't ya gonna say, sorry?"
Big Jim was wearing a lumberjack shirt and jeans and clodhopper boots. He was bigger than me. I made it back to my feet and looked at the idiot. The last thing I wanted was getting into a fight with some local yahoo and starting some vendetta.
"That wasn't good enough."
I looked at Big Jim and he looked like he was a total loser. Mr. Ptolemy had appeared quickly next to Big Jim. I didn't even see how he moved next to him that quickly!
"Leave him alone, Mr. Andrews. This is a library and not a schoolyard."
"Yes sir, Mr. Ptolemy."
Big Jim made a motion with two fingers towards me and then towards his eyes. He was so stupid he did the "I am keeping my eyes on you" hand motions backwards. What a stink hole. I didn't think there would be enough books in this library to smarten this guy up.
Tricia came back over to me. "Big Jim is an idiot. He has issues. Don't let him get to you."
"I don't want him anywhere near me if that is okay with you."
Tricia laughed. Man, she is so cute.
We walked over to the Non-Fiction shelves and started walking down the aisle.
"See if there is a book that calls to you."
"You know, see if there is a book that you might like or if a book likes you!" she giggled.
"What is your favorite book?"
She walked over to a shelf and pulled out a book. It looked like it was written back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The cover was ratty and dark blue and it was hard to make out the letters. They were faded gold and they read "I Love Verbs".
"You are kidding me, right?"
"No, this is my absolute favorite in the whole world."
"Okay, okay that's cool."
"You think I am strange don't you?"
"Well, the book just called to me and you know what, it was just the book I needed!"
"I don't know if I could find a book that would call to me like that."
"Don't be too sure," she smirked.
As I started to walk down the aisles I started to think that she was cute but weird when I felt it. It was a tugging in my gut. The tugging spread to my chest, up my neck and into my forehead. I just started walking towards books down an aisle. I stopped and I felt the urge to pull out a book. As I started to look down the shelf, I started walking to another row.
Tricia was quietly keeping up with me, "Looks like you are having a bunch of books call out to you."
What was weird was that none of the other kids or adults in the library seemed to care that I was moving around aisle-to-aisle at a pretty decent pace. It was like I had to find the right book for me!
I approached another couple of shelves but at the last minute the tugging feelings drew me to another aisle. I saw on the corner that the section read "Non Fiction" and I walked over to a shelf. I looked down and had this feeling like I was going to meet an old friend. I picked up my book.
The book that called to me.
It was a gray covered book with pictures of Japan, Egypt, Rome, Paris, London and Washington DC on the cover. The pictures were faded and they wrapped around the book. The letters on the spine were faded but the title of the book was clear on the cover -The Burger International Architecture Guide 1947 Edition.
I looked at this book and it was like something had been missing from my life and I had found it. I can't explain it any better than that. Despite the fact that it looked like a piece of trash, this book was something I had wanted my whole life and didn't even know it.
"You were right, Tricia."
"I know," she smiled.
She walked closer and gave me a kiss on the cheek!
Publisher: Shockingly Awesome Press
ISBN/SKU: 0977728285 ISBN
Title: The Inappropriate Library
Publication Date: 3/2/2008
Coming Soon thru a bookstore near you in the US and UK.
Price: US $12
Book Description: Billy North and his family move to Northern California to discover a small town where all the children hang out at the library. Instead of playing video games or text messaging, the kids like to be with their books. Something is different and very horrible at the town library. Billy's life shifts into a fantastic world of excitement as he discovers the secrets and power of the Inappropriate Library. This is the first book in this new exciting series! Suitable for children and adults. A portion of all sales from this book go to research Rett Syndrome. Rett Syndrome affects a girl born every fifteen minutes. Boys born with the Rett gene die at birth. Kim Isaac Greenblatt, the author, is also a writer of non fiction books.
Copyright 2008, Kim Isaac Greenblatt, All Rights Reserved