My Surprise Find

Our handy-dandy disc cleaning monster machine!

Our handy-dandy disc cleaning monster machine!

A few days ago, a patron brought back an audiobook, saying that it was skipping.  How frustrating to get halfway through a book, then miss a part because all you hear is eh—so—we—then—!  It’s like listening to the edited version of rap.

Still, I ended up benefiting from this disaster.  After cleaning the discs, we still weren’t sure if they were working properly, so it fell to me as Technical Services Assistant to play the audiobook in the background to see if it was back up to snuff.

This particular book is called The Day of the Pelican, by Katherine Paterson.  I confess, I missed quite a bit of the book due to leaving my desk, making too much noise, et cetera;  but I caught enough of it to know that it’s worth checking out to get the rest of the story!

Find it in our catalog

Find it in our catalog!

So I did.  And boy, am I glad I did!  I knew next to nothing about the war in Kosovo during the late 1990’s (I was, admittedly, still pretty young to care much about foreign conflict), but Paterson walks the reader through the escalating tension through the eyes of a thirteen-year-old girl.  She struggles to understand why her family is suddenly ostracized from the village they’ve lived in for decades, just because they are Albanian.

When we think of mass prejudice or “ethnic cleansing,” we tend to think only about the Holocaust during World War II and tend to forget that many people have gone through similar struggles much closer to our own time. Paterson skillfully reminds us to keep our eyes and our hearts open, never forgetting the pain of the past but also helping those who are hurting around us now.

I strongly recommend you check out the book, but also check out the history that goes along with it.