Libraries are here to stay. Long after your corner coffeehouse has been turned into a drug store, your local library will be there to embrace you with an ever-changing community of avid readers. Summer Hours at the Robbers Library (Harper Perennial) by veteran author and journalist Sue Halpern offers an introspective and poignant look at the lives of people who frequent libraries and the unlikely relationships that form between the pages.

For Kit, the head librarian at the Robbers Library, libraries offer a sense of peace. No one expects her to talk about the problems that shook her out of the settled, quiet suburban life she thought she’d have forever. Kit’s peaceful life is headed for a surprise, however, with the arrival of 15-year-old, home-schooled Sunny.

Sunny, who is eager and curious, is spending all summer doing community service at the library–a job assigned to her by the judge after she got caught stealing (of all things) a dictionary.

Slowly, Sunny urges Kit to step outside of her isolation and make friends with Rusty, who used to work on Wall Street before he got a rude awakening. These three unlikely friends come together to reclaim their lives and create a community.

As long-time fans of Halpern’s work, we found Summer Hours at the Robbers Library to be  full of a beautiful imagery and creative characters. The story of these three lives are carefully woven together, creating an enduring story about friendship and self-discovery.

Summer Hours at the Robbers Library: A Novel was just released. For more information on the author, please visit her website at



Author photo by Nancie Battaglia

Sue Halpern lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont where she writes books and articles, consorts with her husband, the writer and activist Bill McKibben, looks forward to visits from their wonderful daughter Sophie, plays with their remarkably enthusiastic dog, and introduces Middlebury College students to digital audio storytelling. She is a Guggenheim Fellow and Rhodes Scholar with a doctorate from Oxford, the author of a book that was made into an Emmy-nominated film as well as six others.


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