short story – Part 3

This is Part 3 of the story. If you’ve just popped in, you’ll want to start at the beginning.
“Do you like reading?” she tried again. Ashton still hadn’t said a word, but she was asking a rhetorical question anyway. “Reading is a wonderful hobby. You can learn a lot from books.” She was preaching to the choir. On an average day we read at least three books. We go to the library weekly and a check out a dozen new books each time. But good for her if her message creates even one convert.
She handed Ashton the book A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats. “What do you say?” I prompted.
“Thank you,” he mouthed quietly.
Next, Book Girl pulled a board book version of Peter Rabbit out of her tote bag for Conner. “Here’s a book for your little brother,” she said handing it to Ashton.
“Thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing,” I said. Then she breezed past us and slid into a seat in front of young teen girl, pivoting around to begin another conversation with an unsuspecting passenger.
“Who was that, Mom?” Ashton asked.
“That was Book Girl,” I responded.
“Who is Book Girl?” he asked.
“Don’t you know Book Girl?”
“No.”
“Book Girl is a superhero. Didn’t you see her cape?” I was making this up as I went. “She roams around the city passing out books to children of all ages.”
“Why does she do that?” he asked.
“Maybe it’s because she likes books. Maybe she wants to give books to children who might not have many books at home.”
“But we have a lot of books at home,” he said.
“I know, but not everyone has a nice aunt like Aunt Claire to give them so many books,” I explained. “Some children have very few books of their own.” Book Girl continued circulating around the bus as we made our way down Rice Street. The bus driver apparently chose to let Book Girl continue her work, though technically he could have asked her to stop.
We got ourselves off the bus and into the library without further incident. When we entered the story time room, we noticed the librarian was dressed as Pippi Longstocking. Ashton turned to me, “Why did you say today is not a day for wearing costumes?”
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