The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq

by Jeanette Winter

The hopeful and inspiring true story of the Librarian of Basra—a brave woman who, with the help of her community, refuses to let the war raging in Iraq destroy her priceless collection of books. 

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358141839
  • ISBN-10: 0358141834
  • Pages: 32
  • Publication Date: 09/24/2019
  • Carton Quantity: 50

About the book

Alia Muhammad Baker’s library in Basra, Iraq, has been a meeting place for those who love books for the past fourteen years. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library—along with the thirty thousand books within it—will be destroyed forever. 


In this incredible true story of a war-stricken country where civilians seem powerless in the face of battle, this feminist and inspirational tale about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s priceless collection of books reminds us how, throughout the world, the love of literature can unite us all. 

About the author
Jeanette Winter

JEANETTE WINTER has written and illustrated many books for children, including MAMA, The Librarian of Basra, Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book, My Name Is Georgia, and Josefina. She lives in New York City.


* "This is an important story that puts a human face on the victims of war and demonstrates that a love of books and learning is a value that unites people everywhere." - School Library Journal?

"Winter isolates another true story of everyday heroism against a tragic backdrop. The librarian's quiet bravery serves as a point of entry into a freighted topic. -Booklist

"Timely and moving." -Better Homes and Gardens

"As spare yet penetrating as the narrative, Winter's boldly hued, acrylic and pen illustrations depict the frantic book salvaging effort against a bright orange and burnt sienna backdrop of bomb- and gunfire-lit skies and the subsequent, heartbreaking library fire." -Publishers Weekly

"Created with strength and courage, like Alia's devotion to the books in her charge." -Kirkus