The Librarian of Basra, The True story From Iraq

Hi Friends!

I am delighted in showing another book for Perfect Picture Book Friday. One that is dear to my heart. For all you interested in midatlantic SCBWI? Here is the link to go to register for the conference on October 25, 2014 with intensives on Oct. 24. The manuscript evals have gone in the mail previously.

And the links for my writer friends:

For those of us trying, yes, trying to use Scrivener, here is one for using it to write picture books.

and another that my mentor and friend Julie Hedlund gave one Monday and I had to almost try it right then is this here:

 

Book cover of THe Librarian of Basra, a True Story of Iraq.

Book cover of THe Librarian of Basra, a True Story of Iraq.

So let’s get on with the show,

 

PPBF/ The Librarian of Basra

title: The Librarian of Basra, The True story From Iraq

Author/Illustrator: Jeanette Winter

Published by Harcourt, Inc, nonfiction, 2005

 

Summary: Alia Muhammad Baker is the 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 Alicia 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.

 

Resources: This resource is about talking to students about the war in Iraq and why it has been in the news and showing the cover and back. Asking what they think the book is about. A good resource. At the bottom it says

  • If your students want to help Alia rebuild her book collection, they can contribute to a fund administered by the American Library Association. Make checks payable to ALA with “Basra Book Fund” on the memo line, and send them to International Relations Office, ALA, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. (For more information, contact the ALA’s International Relations Department at 1-800-545-2433 x 3201.)

Why I love it: I found this book among the banned books in a shelf with a yellow band around it saying it was banned. When I asked why, the librarian did not know but told me a committee had decided it so. I imagine it was because if was about Iraq, a country we were at war with. And that America might have been the reason the library was burned down.  And then I found this on banned books,

 However the bravery of this librarian to save her loved books is one of courage and showed me how truly lucky we were.  I have a gigantic library in my community that holds over this amount of books easily and the hours it is available is friendly to all kinds of people. There is a teen center where teens can go and get drinks while playing games on the computers. There is kid section with a room just for telling stories. The stacks are short and kid friendly. There is a computer section. All along the walls are rooms one can go in and study with computer hook ups. Not to say about the conference rooms and tables where one can sit or the easy chairs one can go and read in while visiting or waiting. Needless to say, I love my library!! 🙂 and I go at least twice a week.

So when I read this children’s picture book I was in love sight unseen. And I marveled at Alia who has her books in her home for the future.When there is a better place for her books. I Dearly hope the time is now. That now she can look forward to having a building to house her books and her community can meet and read again.

 

Thanks so much for reading this. If you would like to read more books like this one go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books site  where you will find a treasure trove of good stories for students , parents and teachers and librarians. All categorized in alphabet order and in order of theme. Go there and see for yourself why you should and will want to tell others about it. Perfect Picture Book Friday. It’s awesome!

 

And my books?

We got a pdf of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story, proof and emailed off the corrections for a print proof copy, We are really eager to get this done!!

 Annie’s Special Day and Edmund Pickle Chin, a Donkey Rescue Story. See below for the jackets.
My Picture Books

My Picture Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

XOXO

See you on Tuesday with another post about my journey in my memoir “Spiraling: My Battle With Bipolar Disorder” 🙂

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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32 Responses to The Librarian of Basra, The True story From Iraq

  1. I really love this book about the librarian saving and hiding the books before war hits her town. It is such a great story. I’m shocked that it is on the banned book list! It is such an important story — and it’s a true story.

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Patricia!

      Yes, it is a true story. Maybe I did not stress this enough in my post. I just learned more about banned books by going to their web site. The banned books week is this week and my libary was supporting it. Not in the bad way but in the way of bringing attention to it.

      It is important story, I agree. 🙂

      Like

      • I have read it and found it an amazing story about one woman and a community can do.
        The story needs to be told to children so they understand what happens around the world. And, this one is handled very tastefully.

        Like

  2. Joanna says:

    I so love this one, great choice, Clar. I was also very surprised to find it on the banned books list!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Joanna!\

      When I went back to look at what else has been banned I saw “Where the Wild things Are” and ‘Where the sidewalk Ends.” It is amazing what books ended up there one time or other. 🙂

      Like

  3. Robyn Campbell says:

    Good one, Clar. I was surprised that it’s on the banned books list. WHY??? What a wonderful story. Another GOTTA have for Robyn. Might as well head over to Amazon. That’s four for today.

    Like

    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Robyn!!

      Why are you buying these books when you could go to the libary and get them out? I have a tab open for my library catalog right now to put PPBF books on hold for me. Then I can take them out when they come available. 🙂

      Like

  4. Another great choice. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. I wonder what has happened to her library? I might not want to know the answer . . .

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    • clarbojahn says:

      HI Wendy,

      Well it explains in her story that it was burned by Americans during the war on Iraq. I think that is why this book is banned in some places. And from some schools. 🙂

      Like

  6. What a great book! I want to get this for our school library. Thank you for highlighting!

    Like

  7. I think I’ve heard of this, but I wasn’t really familiar with it. Thanks!

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  8. Margot Finke says:

    What a wonderful woman Alia was. Books often don’t survive the ravages of war. Yet they are a link to our past history, our present turmoil and the possibilities of the future. What could be more vital to all of us? Pinned to my BOOK Reviews (kids to YA) on Pinterest.

    Books for Kids – Manuscript Critiques
    http;//www.margotfinke.com

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  9. Thank you Clar for sharing this inspiring story. What a great person Alia is protecting the books for her people. Hopefully I will find this in my neck of the woods.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Diane,

      I Hope you are right. That you can find it since it is banned in places. But that might be because America was at war with Iraq. Since Australia did not play as big a role maybe it is more available. But then, again, maybe not. Let me know OK? 🙂

      Like

  10. This happens to be a story that is very dear to my heart. Libraries are such important cultural places. I recently read an article about this library – it has been rebuilt and the books moved back in. You can read the article here – http://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/2013/03/17/Basra-librarian-saved-30-000-books-during-2003-invasion.html
    Thanks for the lovely review!
    Rhythm’s Mom Person

    Like

  11. What a brave and forethoughtful librarian, to try to save her library and her books! Even more amazing that it is a true story! What is the age range? Thanks so much for sharing this one, Clar!

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  12. Stacy S. Jensen says:

    I really love this book.

    Like

  13. What a wonderful PPBF choice. 🙂

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  14. jannatwrites says:

    What a wonderful idea for a picture book! I find real-life courage to be so inspiring and bringing it to young readers in this format is so good.

    Like

  15. Great pick. What a brave woman. And I’m so happy to hear that her library has been rebuilt!

    Like

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