Sunday, February 15, 2009
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story From Iraq
Written and Illustrated by: Jeanette Winter
"When war seemed imminent, Alia Muhammad Baker, chief librarian of Basra's Central Library, was determined to protect the library's holdings. In spite of the government's refusal to help, she moved the books into a nearby restaurant only nine days before the library burned to the ground. When the fighting moved on, this courageous woman transferred the 30,000 volumes to her and her friends' homes to await peace and the rebuilding of a new library. In telling this story, first reported in the New York Timeson July 27, 2003, by Shaila K. Dewan, Winter artfully achieves a fine balance between honestly describing the casualties of war and not making the story too frightening for young children. Although the invading country is never mentioned, this is an important story that puts a human face on the victims of war and demonstrates that a love of books and learning is a value that unites people everywhere."
School Library Journal Review