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1 Hawthorne Children's Picture Books- Folktales India and the Middle East

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq

by

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.'*

--Alia Muhammad Baker

Alia Muhammad Baker is the librarian of Basra. For fourteen years, her office has been a meeting place for those who love books--until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears the library will be destroyed. She asks government officials for help, but they refuse. So Alia takes matters into her own hands, working secretly with friends to move the thirty-thousand new and ancient books from the library and hide them in their homes. There, the books are stacked in windows and cupboards and even in an old refrigerator. But they are safe until the war moves on--safe with the librarian of Basra.

This moving true story about a real librarian's brave struggle to save her war-stricken community's priceless collection of books is a powerful reminder that the love of literature and the passion for knowledge know no boundaries.

Includes an author's note.

*From the New York Times, July 27, 2003.

Review:

"Relaying the same story told in Alia's Mission (reviewed below), Winter (September Roses) deftly pares down for a picture-book audience the events surrounding Alia Muhammad Baker's courageous book rescue mission in Basra, Iraq, in spring 2003 (see Children's Books, Dec. 13). She portrays the Basra library as a place where the community comes together not only to read books but to 'discuss matters of the world and matters of the spirit.' In a typically lyrical passage, the author notes, 'Alia worries that the fires of war will destroy the books, which are more precious to her than mountains of gold.' As spare yet penetrating as the narrative, Winter's boldly hued, acrylic and pen illustrations depict the frantic book salvaging effort against a bright orange and burnt sienna backdrop of bomb- and gunfire-lit skies — and the subsequent, heartbreaking library fire. A clever cross-section image of Alia's house shows the library volumes (which, readers learn in a concluding note, amounted to an astounding 70 percent of the collection) piled on every available surface. Graphically and textually shifting tone from the real to the idyllic, subsequent pages reveal Baker in a serene, dove-filled setting, where she waits for the war to end and dreams of peace and a new library. Winter, ever aware of her audience, mentions Alia's stroke only in the endnote, keeping her story to specifics that youngest readers can appreciate. All ages. FYI: A portion of the proceeds from the book's sales will be donated to a fund administered by the ALA to help rebuild the collection of Basra's Central Library." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A hopeful and inspiring true story about a librarian in Basra, Iraq.

Synopsis:

In war-stricken Iraq where civilians--especially women--have little power, a librarian in Basra struggles to save her community's priceless collection of books.

Synopsis:

"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. Illustrated by Jeanette Winter in bright acrylic and ink.

Includes an author's note.

*From the New York Times, July 27, 2003

About the Author

JEANETTE WINTER has written and illustrated many books for children, including MAMA, The Librarian of Basra, Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book, My Name Is Georgia, and Josefina. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780152054458
Author:
Winter, Jeanette
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
Subject:
Children's 9-12 - Biography / Autobiography
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography - General
Subject:
People & Places - Middle East
Subject:
General Juvenile Nonfiction
Subject:
JUV030110
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : General
Subject:
Iraq War, 2003
Subject:
Libraries
Subject:
General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Biography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback - picture book
Publication Date:
20050131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
from P up to 3
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Full-color illustrations
Pages:
32
Dimensions:
10.75 x 8 in 0.83 lb
Age Level:
08-12

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Related Subjects

Children's » History » World History
Children's » Nonfiction » Biographies
Children's » Nonfiction » World Cultures
Children's » Nonfiction » World History » General
Children's » Peace and Justice
Children's » People and Cultures
Children's » Picture Books » Folktales » India and the Middle East
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Young Adult » Nonfiction » Biographies

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 32 pages Harcourt - English 9780152054458 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Relaying the same story told in Alia's Mission (reviewed below), Winter (September Roses) deftly pares down for a picture-book audience the events surrounding Alia Muhammad Baker's courageous book rescue mission in Basra, Iraq, in spring 2003 (see Children's Books, Dec. 13). She portrays the Basra library as a place where the community comes together not only to read books but to 'discuss matters of the world and matters of the spirit.' In a typically lyrical passage, the author notes, 'Alia worries that the fires of war will destroy the books, which are more precious to her than mountains of gold.' As spare yet penetrating as the narrative, Winter's boldly hued, acrylic and pen illustrations depict the frantic book salvaging effort against a bright orange and burnt sienna backdrop of bomb- and gunfire-lit skies — and the subsequent, heartbreaking library fire. A clever cross-section image of Alia's house shows the library volumes (which, readers learn in a concluding note, amounted to an astounding 70 percent of the collection) piled on every available surface. Graphically and textually shifting tone from the real to the idyllic, subsequent pages reveal Baker in a serene, dove-filled setting, where she waits for the war to end and dreams of peace and a new library. Winter, ever aware of her audience, mentions Alia's stroke only in the endnote, keeping her story to specifics that youngest readers can appreciate. All ages. FYI: A portion of the proceeds from the book's sales will be donated to a fund administered by the ALA to help rebuild the collection of Basra's Central Library." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , A hopeful and inspiring true story about a librarian in Basra, Iraq.
"Synopsis" by , In war-stricken Iraq where civilians--especially women--have little power, a librarian in Basra struggles to save her community's priceless collection of books.

"Synopsis" by , "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. Illustrated by Jeanette Winter in bright acrylic and ink.

Includes an author's note.

*From the New York Times, July 27, 2003

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