The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

The Librarian of Basra is one of my all time favorite picture books. I cry every time I read it. Its a true story about a librarian in Iraq. Knowing war was fast approaching, Alia Muhammad Baker saved 30,000 books by hiding them with family and friends. The book is well written and although it discuses war, its not frighting. 

— Kim


"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.

Praise For…

"timely and moving"

— Better Homes and Gardens

"a vibrantly illustrated tale of valor and resiliency in the worst of times"

— Jeanette Winter

Product Details
ISBN: 9780152054458
ISBN-10: 0152054456
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: January 1st, 2005
Pages: 32
Language: English