Hands Around the Library

Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
hosted today by a wrung sponge
and joins It's Monday!
What are you reading?

(pub. 8.30.2012) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

     and Collages:  Susan L. Roth

haracters: A librarian and the people of Alexandria, Egypt 

O verview from the jacket flap: 

      "It was a moment that captured the hearts of people all over the world: Thousands of Egypt's students, library workers, and demonstrators surrounded the great Library of Alexandria and joined hands, standing strong. They were forming a human chain to protect the glass building from harm in the midst of widespread protests and chaos. In that moment, the people of Egypt revealed how the love of books and libraries can unite a country, even one in turmoil.
        Now, through lyrical words and gorgeous collage illustrations, this amazing historical moment is brought back to life..."
T antalizing taste: 

"That day the whole world heard
his words
and watched
our Alexandria Library,
our Bibliotheca Alexandrina,
with all our people
holding hands
in the perfect circle
surrounding it.

And because together
we all protected
our Bibliotheca Alexandrina,
once upon a time
not long ago,
the library still stands today
holding all of our stories."
and something more: As always, I love the story behind the story, and the author/illustrator connections to Hands Around the Library. "A Note from Susan L. Roth" explains: "If my friend Karen Leggett Abouraya [co-author] hadn't married her Egyptian husband, Tharwat, perhaps she wouldn't know and love Alexandria so much. And certainly if it weren't for Karen's tales of this gorgeous city, I might never have visited Alexandria... 
              When my family and I finally arrived at the library, we stood still, dazzled by the extraordinary space. Outside, the sun sparkled on the Mediterranean Sea and Egyptians bought fresh fish to grill for dinner in the same places where they would soon be marching and protecting their library. When Dr. Serageldin wrote with such pride that the library was safe, thanks to Egypt's youth, I knew right then that Karen and I had to tell their story."
               And I'm so glad they did!  And to learn more about this story and other libraries throughout the world, visit the Hands Around the Library website. 


Perogyo said...

How amazing that people, ordinary people, got together and did something so extraordinary!

Jeff Barger said...

This would be a great pairing with The Librarian of Basra. Thank you for sharing!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Yes, I agree! It's inspiring what a group of ordinary people can do, and how each individual can make a difference.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Good idea, Jeff. Those two books would be great together. Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for recommending Hands Around the Library. I'm always looking for nonfiction picture books to read. It looks wonderful.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Thanks for stopping by from The Picture Book Review! Yes, it's an inspiring nonfiction story.