Book Review: Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

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Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

Written by Gloria Houston 
Illustrated by Susan Condie Lamb 
Published January 25, 2011 by Harper 
Genre/Topics: Realistic Fiction, Library, Bookmobile
 Ages: 6+, 32 pages

Miss Dorothy always knew she wanted to be a librarian when she grew up. She wanted to be a librarian in charge at a red brick library in the center of town just like her hometown in Massachusetts. Well, Miss Dorothy went to Radcliffe College and was ready to be in charge of a brick library but her plans changed slightly. Miss Dorothy married and moved to a farm in North Carolina. There was a slight problem, because there was no library. There was a community meeting and they agreed that they needed a place to store books and check them out. They decided that the town would raise money for a bookmobile and Miss Dorothy would be the librarian. Miss Dorothy was a little disappointed at first, since she believed a library was a building with shelves and books. She drove the bookmobile all over town to make sure everyone had a book to read. Miss Dorothy drove the green bookmobile to every school, farm, grocery store, post office, church, and even the courthouse. A generous reader donated a white house to be used as a library. Miss Dorothy never got her red brick building for a library, but she still shared her love for books and reading. Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile is loosely based on the author’s experience with a woman named Dorothy Thomas who greeted people with books in her van.

April 11, 2012, is National Bookmobile Day!

Brief History of the Bookmobile:

The bookmobile service in the United States began in the late 19th Century. The first bookmobile service started by Mary Lemist Titcomb in Washington County, Maryland in 1905. Titcomb wanted to extend library services into rural areas. She referred to it as a “library wagon” and consulted with wagon makers to design the best horse-drawn wagon. In 1912, the county received a motorized bookmobile.

Related Information:

American Library Association Information About Bookmobiles in the United States

The First Bookmobile in the United States(

Houston Public Library bookmobile
Houston Public Library bookmobile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Bookmobile horse and cart Washington D.C.
Bookmobile horse and cart Washington D.C. (Photo credit: Crossett Library Bennington College) 

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile

    mtlawleyshire said:
    April 11, 2012 at 12:08 am

    love some of those photos. Lovely potted history. Thanks.

      Caroline responded:
      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      I thought it would be fun to include photos of real bookmobiles! 🙂 I’m glad you like it. Thanks for your comment.

    babyjill7...Marilyn Griffin said:
    April 11, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Loved the info on bookmobile…We had one come to our part of the county when my kids were young…~mkg

      Caroline responded:
      April 13, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      I bet it was a very happy day when the bookmobile came for a visit! Thanks for your comment.

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