A young patron came in the other day and said, do you have any good books in here?
I looked at this little girl and decided she was a mini me. She had her hair in disheveled pig tails, wore glasses with plastic rims and in the crook of her arm was a small Eeyore (another reason I thought she may be a mini me). Her face was youthful but her eyes ancient. Her outfit choice reminded me of a mix of well loved and what is easiest to find… a personal favorite weekend wardrobe choice!
Maybe, I sort of shrugged… what sort of stuff do you like to read? (Librarian tip #1 never let them see you too excited about reading)
She went on to tell me that she was in third grade but read at a fifth grade level and named some books she had liked. I said ok, let me see. I did a quick read a like search and pulled some of those and two of my favorites. She took them to a table and looked them over. About fifteen minutes went by, she came back and declared one …actually pretty good (that is a win, in case you wondered).
I asked if she like all the characters or just Eeyore. She looked me straight in the eye and said, I live in a bus. And then she waited for my reaction. I held her gaze and waited. She must have decided she found me worthy and said, I have had him since I was little and he is small so I got to keep him when we moved. I told her I was so glad her friend could move with her…and she smiled and asked what other books I had. I took her to a few sections I thought she might like and she left with three (she also told me she could only check out three at a time… mom’s rules).
Did I want to ask more? Of course I did. But trust is so very important with these kids and it cannot be rushed. She has been in a few more times since then, but never with Eeyore. She always asks if I have any good books and I always reply, meh maybe.