This is the story of Maria, a scholar who lived long ago, but (unbeknowst to those around her) before the end of the time of the dragons. Maria has a goal of becoming a doctor, not a medical doctor, but a doctor of Asnac (the study of the way people lived even longer ago.)
Maria began her day by heading to the vast towering library in her town to find books on her subject of study, only to find the library in chaos, scorched from dragon fire, and all of the books she came to fetch gone. How would she find the stolen books in order to complete her studies? Her supervisor's reaction was to say: "I suppose you could study something else instead. Have you considered chemistry?" But chemistry didn't fit well into Maria's head. Overcoming her somewhat timid nature, Maria decided to find the book-stealing dragon (the one that most do not believe could exist), and get back the books she needed to complete her thesis.
Maria sets out on an exciting journey. Along the way, she begins collecting information, hearing opinions and overcoming obstacles. She gains courage, finds a magic sword, and makes a new and faithful friend (who is an excellent cook!).
In the end, Maria proves that she has a great deal more to offer to and learn from the world than her friends, or she herself, ever knew.
My favorite quotes:
"...a librarian who wore no glasses managed somehow to look at Maria and Jennifer over the top of them."
"...with two doleful cherubs who could not be cheered up even by having wings."
Not Ordinarily Borrowable or, Unwelcome Advice by Thomas Thurman is a fun, fantasy adventure that delivers with subtle humor a positive message for kids. Great for younger readers through young adults - and adults too! Read it with your kids!