Huffpost Politics

Lemony Snicket Helps 'Little Free Library' Advocate Spencer Collins

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Author Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, in an April 2013 file photo.
Author Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, in an April 2013 file photo.

A Kansas boy battling through a series of unfortunate events over his front-yard library is getting some support from author Daniel Handler.

Last month, 9-year-old Spencer Collins erected a “take a book, leave a book” structure as a Mother's Day gift and as an attempt to engage with his Leawood, Kan., community. But then the Leawood City Council ordered him to remove the small library from his front yard and even threatened the young librarian with fines.

Now, Spencer is getting some public backing from Handler, a.k.a Lemony Snicket, author of the "Series Of Unfortunate Events" books.

Handler told the San Francisco Chronicle that he's sending Spencer "a handful of Snicket books -- largely from my new series, ‘All the Wrong Questions,’ in which a librarian is a hero."

When asked if he had any advice for Spencer, Handler replied, “I would rather be advised by this librarian on what he thinks I ought to read next.”

Handler is among thousands who have voiced support for Spencer since the Leawood shut down the tiny library, which was roughly the size of a large birdhouse.

A Facebook page set up in support of the library now has more than 27,000 likes, including many from the owners of other Little Free Libraries who've sent in photos of their own structures.

In response, Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn said the city might be able to make an exception for Spencer's library at its July 7 meeting.

Some 15,000 "Little Free Libraries" have sprung up around the country, so chances are there's one (or more) near you. This map can help you to find one.

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LEMONY SNICKET | All the Wrong Questions | Official Site

Daniel Handler backs Kansas boy in Little Free Library controversy