Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Librarian of Basra (Jeanette Winter)

This book had me at the dedication in the front. It says:

"In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.'"
--Alia Muhammad Baker

The Goodreads summary says:

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.

This is a fabulous story. We read it as part of character study topic: influence. My students decided it was a good book about influence because there are many positives and negatives.  The war is a negative influence, as are the soldiers. Alia Muhammad Baker is a positive influence and inspiring for many people.

We turned this story into a reader's theatre and will be performing it for an assembly. We had five books to choose from. Every child in our class voted for The Librarian of Basra.

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