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The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq

by Jeanette Winter

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9307916,212 (4.21)7
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.… (more)

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English (78)  French (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
I liked this book for a couple reasons. It is about a librarian of Basra’s Central library and she is most concerned about her books being destroyed during an invasion of Iraq. The librarian’s name is Alia Muhammad Baker and she will do anything to save her books. The main reason I like this book is because of the main character Alia. Without the title saying, “A True Story from Iraq,” I would have guessed this book was fiction because I never would have thought someone could love books so much. For example, Alia was determined in keeping her books safe and the last page of the book says, “the books are safe—safe with the librarian of Basra.” This just shows that Alia not only loves books, but she loves her job as a librarian. Secondly, I enjoyed the plot because as I was reading, I didn’t know whether or not the books were going to be safe. The plot consisted of conflict and suspense as no one knew whether or not the books would survive the explosions and fires. “Alia waits. She waits for war to end. She waits, and dreams of peace. She waits...” is an example of the suspense, as us readers want to know what else Alia is waiting for and why she is waiting. There are pauses that create the suspenseful effect in this story because we want to know what happens to Alia’s books. I believe the message of this story is that all throughout the world, there is a love for literature and people from different cultures can have the same passions. ( )
  hmorri10 | Mar 2, 2020 |
This true story is based on a librarian who saved books during the Iraq War. This story is great for a history class because it truly shows what life is like during wars in foreign countries. The book is intended for a kindergarten-2nd-grade classroom. ( )
  bxr032 | Nov 17, 2019 |
This is a very inspirational story. One that stresses the importance of literature. I am sad and happy that this is a true story, because we need to learn for it. It seems to me that whenever there is war, the books are the first to go, because they provide a means of escape and give ideas that may not support war.
  Stella.Felix | Sep 29, 2019 |
This a great book because it can show children in a way to preserve who they are during conflict.
  Laura.Vance | Sep 25, 2019 |
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.
  wichitafriendsschool | Aug 12, 2019 |
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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.

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Alia Muhammad Baker, a librarian in Basra, Iraq, is the focus of this 2003 true story as she saves the books from her library before it is burned during the Iraq war. When she asks the governor for safe storage of the books, and it is denied, she is aided by her community in protecting the books from destruction. Although appearing as a book for elementary level, this beautifully told and illustrated story will be appreciated by readers of all levels.
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