We'll be reading science fiction for the spring "One Book, One Chicago" event, the last selection of Mayor Daley’s tenure. Neverwhere by Neal Gaiman follows an ordinary office worker whose life changes when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on the sidewalk, leading to danger and adventure in an imaginary subterranean London. Gaiman states that the idea came to him after reading Free, Live Free, a Gene Wolfe book set in Chicago.
What I had started to think about was that some cities were also characters. Chicago was, in Free, Live Free. It was drawn in such a way that it had become almost magical, and was as much of a character in the book as any of the more human people who walked around in it.
Although these selections are always suitable for school-age kids, they are worthwhile reads for adults too. You can reserve a copy at the Chicago Public Library.
Another well-known science fiction novelist, Aldous Huxley, also wrote a little-known children’s storybook. The book, The Crows of Pearblossom, is being re-released by Abrams Books for Young Readers. According to The New York Times, “The book has been out of print for years, but not for good reason. The story is clever, wittily told and bristles with spiky humor — and it could quite possibly become a new favorite among schoolchildren.”