The Librarian of Basra
A True Story from Iraq
By Jeanette Winter
(Harcourt Children's Books, Hardcover, 9780152054458, 32pp.)
Publication Date: January 2005
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"In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.'"*
--Alia Muhammad Baker
Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library--along with the thirty thousand books within it--will be destroyed forever.
In a war-stricken country where civilians--especially women--have little power, this true story about a librarian's struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries.
Includes an author's note.
*From the New York Times, July 27, 2003
JEANETTE WINTER has illustrated many books for children, including Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston and her own Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book, My Name Is Georgia, and Josefina. She lives in New York City.
"timely and moving"
"a vibrantly illustrated tale of valor and resiliency in the worst of times"