February 23rd, 2005


The Librarian of Basra

I read about "The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq" in bibliovixen's daily International Page-Turning Fest.

"Of all the children's books about the good one person can do, few are more timely or resonant than Jeanette Winter's 'The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq.'

The true account of an Iraqi librarian's brave struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books dramatically illustrates the difference one person can make.

The book was inspired by a July 2003, article in The New York Times about Alia Muhammad Baker, the chief librarian of Basra's Central Library, who was determined to protect the library's holdings when US troops entered Iraq and fighting and looting broke out.

When her own government refused to help, Ms. Baker began spiriting the collection to safety herself, book by book. She carried the books to her home and to a neighboring restaurant, managing with the help of friends to preserve 70 percent of the collection before the historic building burned to the ground nine days later."

This story brought tears to my eyes. I will be buying the book for my niece and nephew!


So, you're a believer and you get lifted to heaven in the Rapture. Lucky you! But what about your heathen loved ones who are wandering the Earth wondering what happened to you? Well, now you can go to Rapture Letters and rub in your good fortune while chastising those left behind for not jumping on the holy bandwagon in time. Your e-mail letter will be sent out the Friday following the Rapture. And they will receive a letter every Friday after that so they won't forget just how holy and wonderful you were.