“The Reader” feels like a classic. It’s a book I would have loved to read at 12 or 14, though I definitely found it a delight to read now. With this novel, Traci Chee took me back to the sense of wonder I had while reading Philip Pullman or Madeleine L’Engle. I can’t wait to see what the finished copies for this look like, as there are “burned” pages, inky thumb prints, fade-outs, etc. The formatting is, quite simply, lovely. Sefia’s story is the main narrative, but it’s intertwined with the stories of pirates, librarians, and assassins, and moves forward and backward through time as Sefia unravels the secrets of a mysterious book. Swashbuckling action, unforgettable characters, and a breathtaking setting should make this a modern classic.