The Librarian of Basra

Last month we wrote about this year’s One Book, One Philadelphia selection, The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers — the story of a soldier trying to come to terms with his service in Iraq. The Writer’s Studio is hosting a reading group for the novel tonight at 6:30 and we still have free copies available in the library! We will also continue to accept greeting cards for veterans until the end of this week.

The Librarian of Basra

The Free Library’s One Book program is coming to a close, and as it does we wanted to highlight another story from Iraq. In addition to Powers’s novel, the Free Library chose a book for children called The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq, written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter. This book tells the true story of Alia Muhammad Baker, a librarian in Basra who saved her library’s collection from being destroyed by war. It is an incredible story, first reported by Shaila Dewan of the New York Times in 2003, Books Spirited to Safety Before Iraq Library Fire. Stop by the library to check out Winter’s vivid illustrations and Baker’s empowering work! A perfect book to round out One Book, One Philadelphia, as well as Women’s History Month.

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