Agard, John Book : An Autobiography Illustrated by Neil Packer. 138 pages. Candlewick Press, first U.S. edition 2015. $15.99. NONFICTION
Written as an autobiography which Book has "narrated" to Agard, a Guyanese-English poet, we learn the history of the printed word, from cuneiform on clay tablets, through the development of an alphabet on rolled papyrus and parchment, eventually to paper codices and ebooks. Along the way, we also hear about writing utensils, printing methods, word origins, libraries, book burnings, and more. Interspersed are related quotes and sayings from throughout the ages.
Book definitely speaks with a proud, almost cocky, voice, but also lovingly. It provides many interesting facts in the history of a subject that spans 5,000 years in a unique but accessible manner. Part poetry, part history, part personal narrative, this short volume is a gem for anyone who loves books, history, or poetry.
MS - ADVISABLE; EL, HS - OPTIONAL. Reviewed by P.K.Foster, teacher- librarian