Never Turn the Page Too Soon is a middle grade fantasy book that was sent to me by the author. One day, Little Book's author drops him in the donation cart in the local bookstore and drives away. After crying tears of ink, he finds something shocking; at night when the bookstore closes, the books and the characters in them come to life. He navigates the society of the bookstore trying to prove himself as worthy of shelf space and acceptance as he tries to avoid those who want to send him to the giant shredder.As soon as I read the synopsis that described the perspective being from an inanimate object, a book, I was thrilled. When I was younger I would love writing poems and short stories from the viewpoint of items such as fruit waiting to be picked, or how a trash can felt with each item that was dumped. The concept of the characters coming to life out of the books and having parties and a life at night, and then quickly hopping back on the shelves before opening time was hilarious. There were even police (known as the Space Arrangers) and lawyers. Seeing Dr. Phil was very entertaining. The little details in the story were the best. Never Turn the Page Too Soon was funny and cute; I was smiling and giggling for most of the book.
There was a fear from the books in the store of being shredded by the machine called the LYON. This is not too far from the truth. Bookstores try to send unsold books back to the publisher, but many do not want to pay the shipping costs, and so they ask the stores to dispose of the books instead. Many do not have the resources to work with a recycling center, and the books get dumped out instead. Those that can afford it shred them instead. I used to volunteer in a library, and I know that they tried their best to give away for free the books that weren't being checked out. I actually spent time organizing the donation bins where Little Book was left. The descriptions of how the bookstore worked and the procedures were accurately pictured.
While this book is a fantasy, a lot of it does pertain truth to real-life struggles of being a self-published book. I know the majority of book reviewers do not accept books from self-published authors, and I have never understood why. To me, a book is a book. From reading Never Turn the Page Too Soon, I now know why- to the publishing and literature industry, self-published books are viewed as inferior.
"As for being self-published, only the best of the best belongs in our bookstore. So, if you're self-published, it means you are not the best. And if you're not the best, you don't belong in our bookstore 'cause it means you're not good enough" (pg. 25).
Never Turn the Page Too Soon connects the real difficulties of being an author and book publication with the insecurities that everyone face with the struggle of being "good enough" to be accepted by society and their peers. This need becomes increasingly apparent when kids enter middle school, and even more emphasized and emotionally damaging in high school. This book teaches that no matter where you came from or what you look like, you still are worthy and have potential to make it as far as you dreamed. Little Book was able to earn approval and friendships from his personality and talent despite the prejudice of being an "infiltrator". I loved the ending.
Author: Leslie R. Henderson
Publisher: Leslie R. Henderson
Series: Yes, Book 1 of 2
Rating: 5 Stars