Friday, September 2, 2011

Dragon House - by John Shors

Shors' novel tells the story a young woman, Iris, who travels to Vietnam to open a center for homeless children, in order to fulfill her deceased father's wishes. The center, of course, needs a library to be complete, and the Tam Tran Center for Street Children does indeed have one. It is only mentioned twice, first only as a dream for the Center "...though a library hadn't been in her father's original design, Iris felt she must build one. How could children learn without rows of wonderful books." And, finally, in the last chapter of the book, when the Center is opened...
In the far corner, a pair of tall bookshelves comprised her library. She'd gathered almost five hundred books, many purchased by the sale of her signed first-edition novels. Several publishing companies where Iris had friends had also made donations. The books were new and written in either Vietnamese or English. The children had opened them with what Iris believed to be awe.  
Dragon House is Bridgewater, Massachusetts One Book One Community Read for fall 2011. Learn more at

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