Quickies: Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library!

Or Home Alone for Nerdy Kids. This is a quickie because I haven’t actually reread it. I’ll try to summarize from memory and then you all can fill in the blanks. Two sisters, somewhat whiny, are on a trip with their parents and they stop at a small time library. While looking around, the library closes with them in it. And this is scary? Imagine being locked in a library with nothing to do but browse all the books with no one to bother you? I am sure that for 98% of us reading, that sounds like heaven.

Instead of freaking out, for some reason I remember them dressing up in prairie clothes and sitting on a covered wagon with life sized paper mache people to pass the time. What? Why? Eventually they find that an old woman lives upstairs at the library and she almost dies but they save her.

I also remember these sisters being extremely high maintenance and annoying. And they are always finding themselves in trouble. I think there is a sequel in which they are almost beheaded at an amusement park.

Thoughts?

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28 thoughts on “Quickies: Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library!

  1. Ellie says:

    Oh my goodness, I loved this book so much as a kid. I didn’t find the sisters annoying; I guess they reminded me of me and my sister (especially because we loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and all related clothes and covered wagons and whatnot). I did think the dad was incredibly stupid for letting himself run out of gas. I remember how the younger sister made a sign that said “Help, I’m a prisoner in the liberry” and hung it in the window.

  2. Jen S. says:

    Soooo…. I guess the library has no phone, or what? I could buy them not finding a phone in a museum since they’d be in an office, but a library? C’mon!

    And if these kids really got themselves locked into enough places to warrant a series, I’d just board them at the dog kennel during vacations.

  3. Merrie says:

    This was THE BEST book!

    OK, so the girls’ mom is in the hospital, having a baby, and their dad is taking them to a relative’s house before he goes to the hospital. He runs out of gas in the middles of a huge blizzard in some random town and leaves the girls in the car. Then the young one has to go to the bathroom, so the two leave the car to use the bathroom at the library nearby. While there, the library closes.

    Fast-forward — the storm knocks out the power and phone service. The girls think the noises they hear upstairs are from a burgler, so they dress in the old clothes and sit in the display so “the bad guys” won’t see them. They eventually go upstairs, discover the librarian unconscious (she tripped and fell in the dark) and eat her food. When she awakes, they explore the library, set off fireworks to draw atention to the building, and everything is OK the next day.

    The girls now have a baby brother.

    It’s so sad how much I remember this book.

  4. Jennifer says:

    My library when I was a kid actually HAD library sleepovers, so I’ve done this.

    Guess what I did all night? Yup, read Sweet Valley High books.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I remember this book!! I had tonnes of these Apple Paperbacks… let’s see if I remember them “The Summer I Was Twelve”, and “No Coins Please” are 2 that stand out…

  6. Mary-Anne Bruno says:

    Where did they get the praire clothes??

    And what kind of father leaves two young girls ALONE in a car in a blizzard?? (Jon Gosselin?) Hello, psycho serial killers look for these kind of idiotic parents!

  7. Anne says:

    Anonymous, I love no coins please. I still read it at least once a year. So, so funny.

    Merrie, thanks for more info in the recap, at least they had a reason for not making a call for help. That makes me feel slightly better

  8. Roger Patman says:

    Never did read it, but reminds me of another classic, called ‘The Dollhouse Murders’ Anyone else read that one? Scared the piss out of me.

    • Becci says:

      I was just THINKING of that book and trying to remember what it was called. I must have read it 20 years ago, and I still remember parts of it vividly, and how much it scared me. I would loooove for ihatewheat to do a review of it.

      Oh, and I totally remember Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library!–well, I remember the title, and I have a vague memory of reading it and being a little spooked. I just did. I was a big wuss as a kid.

      Oh hell, I’m still a big wuss.

  9. bookharlot says:

    So, why couldn’t they just unlock the door and leave? I’m sure this is believably explained at some point.

  10. VS says:

    OMG! I work at a library and I have my copy of this book sitting next to me at my desk! I also have The Mariah Delany Lending Library Disaster and Something Queer at the Library. I just love to hear when someone else has heard of these obscure kind of things!

    I love being at work after the library closes!

    Roger – The Dollhouse Murders scared me too!

  11. Lynn says:

    Okay this is going to bug me forever, because this title sounds SO familiar that I’m sure I must’ve read it at some point. As in, actually read THIS book, not just confusing it with “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”.

    If I didn’t, I’m gonna have to read it.

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