Book Review: The Librarian of Basra

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The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq 

Written & Illustrated by Jeanette Winter 
Published January 1, 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ages: 7+, 32 pages 
Genre/Topics: Nonfiction, Library, Multicultural, Save Books 
 

Alia Muhammad Baker is the librarian of Basra, a city in Iraq. Her library is a meeting place to discuss books, but also to discuss war. Alia worries that fire from the war will destroy the books, which are very precious to her. She asks the governor for permission to move the books to a safe place, but he refuses. Alia decides to protect the books herself and secretly brings books home every night. Finally, war reaches Basra. Alia asks her friend, Alia Muhammad, who owns a restaurant next to the library to help save the books. They quickly remove the books from the library and hide them in the restaurant. Only nine days later, a fire burns the library to the ground. They move the thousands of books to her house and friends’ houses to protect  the books from harm.

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq is a true story about a brave women in Iraq. War is a sensitive issue and I thought this book demonstrated that a community can work together to save precious books. The text is straightforward and doesn’t become too graphic  when discussing war. It’s a good book to start a discussion about war with children. The pictures are vibrant and beautiful.

Celebrate National Library Week!

April 8-14, 2012

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Librarian of Basra

    mtlawleyshire said:
    April 14, 2012 at 12:17 am

    gorgeous 🙂

      Caroline responded:
      April 14, 2012 at 5:47 pm

      It’s a great book! Thanks for visiting!

    thiskidreviewsbooks said:
    April 16, 2012 at 3:29 am

    This is a great book to include in Library Week!

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