Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Review: The Librarian of Basra

Because we live in America and have been blessed with not having a war on our soil in 150 years or so, we do not have to worry about our museums and libraries being destroyed by rockets, grenades, and other articles of war. Yet in many places, especially in the Middle East, libraries are constantly on guard and sometimes destroyed because of war. This might be a good fact to share with children, to help them appreciate libraries and all that books offer.

Recently, I picked up the children's picture book, The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter.  In this story we learn the tale of the librarian from the Iraqian town of Basra.  Alia Muhammad Baker loves books and her library, and takes pride in her many volumes and the fact that many people use her library to come together to talk about life and literature. Yet she realizes that soon her library could be victim to the bombs of war, and she asks the governor to move the books to a safer place.  When he refuses, she takes matters into her own hands to save her precious books.

The book has a wonderful message to share with children, that saving books is important for the people in any culture, and we should appreciate the fact that we have easy availability to so many books in our libraries. Children will enjoy the simple, colorful pictures, and the easy to follow text make this an enjoyable book for a story time celebrating cultures around the world.  So grab it and enjoy an exciting and fun story for all ages.