Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Child

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Child

Jan Pinborough
Illustrator:  Debby Atwell 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2013   ISBN: 978-0547471051

Annie Carroll Moore grew up in a big house in Limerick, Maine. At that time, in the 1870’s, girls were expected to stay indoors to quietly sew, knit, and embroider, but Annie was not interested in staying inside the house and being ladylike. Instead, she went sledding down the hill with the boys and or riding in her father’s buggy.

   When she was grown up Annie didn’t want to get keep house, become a teacher or a missionary. Annie wanted to become a lawyer like her father so she went down to his office so that she could study the law first-hand.

   After the death of her parents and sister-in-law, Annie had to set aside her dreams for a while to take care of her brother’s children, but eventually she was free to choose her own path again. Annie heard that libraries were hiring women to be librarians, and since she loved books, she went to New York to study at the Pratt Institute library school.

   When Annie was a child, children were not allowed into public libraries, but now libraries were starting to allow children to come inside. Annie’s first library job was at a library that had something very new: a children’s section. Children could read books written for them, and Annie read to the children in the evenings.

   Then Annie was given the job of being in charge of children’s sections in all the branches of the New York Public Library. Annie set about making the children’s sections as welcoming and accessible as possible. She had big dreams for her children’s sections, and she meant to make them a reality.

   In this splendid picture book biography, the author tells the story of an inspirational woman who helped make libraries children-friendly, who supported children’s book authors, and who encouraged publishers to print quality books for young readers. It is hard to imagine today that there was a time when children were not welcome in libraries and when they were not allowed to look at or even hold the children’s books. The librarians were afraid that children would damage the precious books. This book serves as a wonderful tribute to a woman who gave so much to children, and whose legacy can be seen in libraries all over the world today.

   At the back of the book the author provides readers with further information about Miss Moore and other “trailblazing librarians.”