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After 40 years of wandering, library book returns to Bridgeview Elementary School

After 40 years of wandering, library book returns to Bridgeview Elementary School


Dog-eared and yellowed, a school library book more than 40 years past due has returned to the Pleasant Valley Community School District.

The King’s Fifth” by Scott O’Dell was checked out from Bridgeview Elementary School by Kelly Glisan when he was a student there — in the 1970s, according to his letter to the district, which they provided Monday. Glisan, who now lives in Illinois, recently found the book while rummaging in his basement.

After reading it, he checked it to see when it was published and discovered his decades-old misstep, Glisan said in the letter.

“Much to my shock and profound embarrassment I realized the book had been checked out from Bridgeview School’s library in 1977, never returned and very much past due,” Glisan wrote.

The book has survived the five moves Glisan has made since becoming an adult, he wrote. It, like him, is a bit worn with age, he said.

Glisan, who said the school library had a positive impact on his life, returned the book, along with a new copy to replace its way worn predecessor on the shelves.

He also sent a donation.

“When I grew up, LeClaire, Iowa, was a poor river town of hard-working residents who found it difficult to get ahead, and perhaps it still is,” Glisan wrote. “Thus, also enclosed is $50 which I hope will defray any late charges and balance due to be used to further your mission.”

“The King’s Fifth” is about a young Spanish conquistador and the part he played in a treasure hunt, according to the book’s publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It became a Newbery Honor Book in 1967.


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