Sunday, December 05, 2021

The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams

Thompson, Mindy. The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams
October 26th 2021 by Viking Books For Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Poppy loves working at Rhyme and Reason, her family's magical bookstore, and is a bit irritated that her older brother, Al, will be the one to run it when their parents retire. While it's 1944 in Sutton, New York, customers can visit from any place and time if they need the bookstores healing properties. There are other bookshops in a variety of places, and they all operate under the same codes, and have an apprentice courier, Ollie, who carries mail between the shops, using pins from the stores to travel. When Al's childhood friend Carl is killed in the fighting, he is determined to use the bookstore's magic to go back and save him, even though the rules clearly state that the bookstore owners should never do this. There are a lot of things going wrong in the shop, and Poppy, who is there more often than Al, is not able to fix them, especially when her father becomes very ill and ends up in the hospital in New York City. Other stores are having trouble, too, and Poppy gets a letter from Theo Devlin, whose grandfather has passed away and left the store to his mother, who is struggling to run it. These two, along with Ollie, try to figure out what is going on with the shops, figure out how to work around the rules, and attempt to keep Al safe from the darker forces involved in the shops' magic. Will they be able to keep their world from imploding?
Strengths: I would have absolutely adored this when I was in middle school and probably would have needed my own copy. The cover is fantastic, and I would probably have tried to set my room up as Rhyme and Reason! The fact that Poppy was the one responsible for the shop even though she had both parents and an older brother around was done very well. She used her resources well, and managed to get help from a variety of people. There were a number of classic books mentioned. There was a well done, but very sad, twist to this one.
Weaknesses: While it was certainly very sad that so many people died, Al's reaction to Carl's death seemed a bit extreme for this time period. Instead of so much about his grief (which, granted, drives the whole story), I would have preferred a few more details about homefront life, and a tiny bit more about how people find the bookstores.
What I really think: As much as I adore time travel books, my students are not fans, so I may wait to purchase. I really enjoyed this, but just don't have the readers for it. I would definitely purchase this for a public library, or for any collection where time travel books are popular. 

Ms. Yingling


  1. Any book about a magic bookshop is a must-read!

  2. Constance5:19 PM EST

    This sounds fun. I will look for it during my library shift tomorrow.