Even though I’ve overseen the Great Library and know its every corner by heart, I still shiver with delight every time I read Andrew’s description of the place through Janner’s eyes. There is really no better place on Aerwiar. And I don’t know about you, but I cried over the last pages of chapter 29. What Kal and Janner are going through will get harder even than this, but it is already so hard.
This excerpt, though, is from the part of the reading that made me laugh out loud. It’s one of the many passages that’s even better when you listen to it, if your reader has a good Hollish accent or you’re listening to Andrew’s audiobook.
As soon as Janner stepped onto the field, he was knocked to the ground.
To be fair, the person who smashed into him didn’t mean to. She was hugging a boot to her chest and running from a riot of other guildlings. She yelled, “Sorry!” over her shoulder and left Janner to scramble out of the way of the stampede.
As Kalmar pulled Janner to his feet and brushed him off, a stocky man and a stocky woman approached, leading two stocky dogs.
“You’ll want to keep a watch out for whoever’s got the boot,” said the stocky man, introducing himself and his wife as the Guildmaster Pwaffe and Guildmadam Pwaffe. They seemed as wide as they were tall, but without an ounce of fat. Their arms were short and thick, their necks were as wide as their heads, and their fingers looked like sausages.
“Oy,” the woman said. “That’s basically all there is to Get the Boot. That’s what we call the game. Get the Boot. Someone has the boot and everyone’s supposed to get the boot. And when you’ve got the boot, everyone else is trying to get the boot. So you have to keep the boot. That guy over there is timing how long each guildling has the boot. Any questions?”
Janner had lots of questions, but before he could ask a single one, Guildmaster Pwaffe said, “Oy, guildlings. Off you go. Get the boot.”
Janner, Kal, and Leeli looked at one another.
“Now?” Kalmar asked.
“That’s what I said.” The man pointed across the field at the herd of children still chasing the girl, who appeared to be having the time of her life.
“But what do we do when we get the boot?” Kalmar asked.
“Keep the boot. It isn’t hard.” Guildmadam Pwaffe shook her head sadly. “Not too smart, these, eh, Wimble?”
“The whole game is right there in the title,” the man said. “‘ Get the Boot.’ That’s it. So get the boot.”
Discussion: Which passages this week made you laugh, or cry, or shiver with delight?
Have you ever read a book of your family’s history, or heard stories from an elderly relative? What was it like to imagine your parents (or even grandparents) as children?
Are there books that tell you who you are? (Discuss here)
What do you say when someone you care about is struggling with feelings of guilt?
Which section of the library would you most like to visit? (Discuss here)
Activity: Play Get the Boot! 🙂