What follows is a booktalk for a title on our Mock Printz shortlist. We hope you’ll be able to join us at the event where our winner will be chosen! This booktalk was written by Susan Smallsreed of Multnomah County Library.
Fifteen year old Sefia has been on the run for years, ever since her father was brutally murdered. The only clue to the assassin was the heavy smell of copper in the air. When Sefia found him, she automatically followed the instructions that he had drilled into her: Run to her room in the basement, dig out the heavy, cloth-covered square hidden behind a wall and run to “Aunt Nin.” She and Aunt Nin had been moving ever since. Aunt Nin taught her how to hide, pick locks and live in the wild. But one day, Sefia returned to camp and smelled copper … again. And from the bushes, she watched as Aunt Nin was taken away. Vowing to follow and free her, Sefia lost the trail in a heavy rain. Alone, now Sefia wonders, “What is it that is worth killing over?” And finally, she opens the package buried deep in her pack and finds … a book. Knowing that your parents were killed over this, would you teach yourself to read? Would you still try to rescue Aunt Nin? Would you try to find out why someone wants it? Who knew that reading was such a dangerous act? The Reader, the first in the new series: Sea of Ink and Gold.