Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt�s Treasured Books
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt�s Treasured Books

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The inspiring true story of demonstrators standing up for the love of a library, from a New York Times bestselling illustrator

In January 2011, in 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, forming a human chain to protect the b...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by Dial
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 197)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Melki
We were free inside the library even when we were not free outside.


Try to imagine what it is like to know about freedom ONLY from what you read in books. You would probably do just about anything to protect those books, wouldn't you?

This colorful book for children describes an incident I previously knew nothing about.

In January 2011, protesters took to the streets in Egypt to express their opposition to leader Hosni Mubarak . Fearing that their treasured library might be harmed if the demonstra...more
Kristen Herzog
Hands Around the Library by Karen Leggett Abouraya and Susan L Roth is an amazing true story about how protesters helped save their library. January 25, 2011 Egyptians started their protest towards the President, Hosni Mubarak. After his thirty year rule the people finally demanded that he resign. In their efforts to get him to resign the streets of Alexandria became a scary mob which ended with more than 800 people dying. This protest took place in the streets surrounding the modern Alexandria...more
Jenna Scurto
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books depicts the story of saving the Alexandria Library during the Egyptian protests of 2012. The highway across the street from the library was packed with protesters, some peaceful and some violent. The director of the library put himself in front of the library in order to protect the vulnerable glass library. At first only a few trickled in to help, but then many joined him in his crusade to save the books. The library soon had a human...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Being a librarian, of course I was inspired by this book! I didn't know the details of how the Alexandria Library was saved until I read this book. Made me proud to be a librarian! I liked the photos of the real events at the end, and the extra information on the library. I would like to think that people everywhere would appreciate and protect their libraries. Recommended, especially for library lovers!
Michelle Pegram
This book tells one of the many stories of the Egyptian revolution that began in January of 2011. In a childlike voice, the narrator shares the exhilaration and hope of a young revolutionary who marched in Alexandria when the movement reached that great city. Along with the excitement, however, there was fear. The marches had, at times, developed into riots that led to destruction. The narrator is worried that their beautiful library in Alexandria would be damaged. As the marchers approach, the...more
Kim
Audience: Primary
Genre: Informational

Quote: "Then a young man broke from the marchers. He ran up the steps to Dr. Serageldin...and he took hold of the director's hand! A young girl followed. She tool Dr. Serageldin's other hand."

I liked this quote because it occurs at the apex of the story. The reader has gotten into it, and they can see the random man running from the mob to the director. I started to picture what he was going to do next, but I didn't think it was holding the directors hand. Ho...more
Alyssa Wilger
Text-to-self: Over the past year I have become very close friends with a number of people that grew up in Egypt. They are firm in their beliefs and have much pride in the country they came from. This book reminded me of them. As I was reading I was imagining one of my friends from egypt telling me the story. I thought it was interesting how situations like being scared, acts of anger, and fire set to cars and police stations, somewhat touchy and avoided situations in most american children liter...more
Brenna Daugherty
Hands Around the Library tells the story of how the Alexandria Library was saved amidst the chaos of Egyptians fed up with their lack of freedom. Mobs of Egyptians marched and rioted the streets when others surrounded the library, striving to protect it in all its greatness. Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books serves to inform readers about the unifying power the Alexandria Library had in Egypt, and how much people truly value Egypt’s stories.

The story was told in a way...more
Lindsey
I had never heard of this event or this book, so I was very interested to read up on it a little bit. After learning a little more about the event itself, it made me appreciate the book more. I can see myself using this book in my classroom if it were a fifth grade class. I think it would go over the younger elementary kids' heads. I would help students relate this book to another text by using it during a multicultural unit, perhpas while discussing protesting, boycotting, or sit-ins to express...more
Melody Wolen
Reading Level: 2nd grade and up
This book is the story of the people in Egypt’s revolt against their government. Told in such a way that children can understand this historical event Hands Around the Library Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books is a great multicultural read. The main plot of the book is just that the people of Egypt wished to rise up against their government because they did not have the basic rights that people deserves such as; freedom of speech, religion, or press. When the peop...more
Sarahi
Apr 25, 2014 Sarahi added it
Shelves: multicultural
Picture book #4 Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books

1. This story is about when people in Alexandrina, Egypt surrounded a library by holding hands and protesting against the burning of their beloved library. To those who went to the library, they knew it was a safe place to talk about anything, learn new things, and communicate with people from other countries. In January of 2011 there were revolutions and protests to get the president of Egypt to resign after holding tha...more
Melissa Morton
Hands Around the Library tells the story of how the Alexandria Library was saved amidst the chaos of Egyptians fed up with their lack of freedom. Mobs of Egyptians marched and rioted the streets when others surrounded the library, striving to protect it in all its greatness. Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books serves to inform readers about the unifying power the Alexandria Library had in Egypt, and how much people truly value Egypt’s stories.

The story was told in a way...more
Pamela
Simple picture about an incident during the Egyptian democracy protests in 2011. It whetted my appetite for more info. I guess as protesters were approaching the beautiful glass library in Alexandria, a human chain formed to protect it. The text is simple but could be a discussion beginner for upper elementary students about mob behavior, or symbols of freedom.
Jacquelyn Hoogendyk
Hands Around the Library tells the story of how the Alexandria Library was saved amidst the chaos of Egyptians fed up with their lack of freedom. Mobs of Egyptians marched and rioted the streets when others surrounded the library, striving to protect it in all its greatness. Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books serves to inform readers about the unifying power the Alexandria Library had in Egypt, and how much people truly value Egypt’s stories.
The story was told in a w...more
Mary Jo
Jun 13, 2014 Mary Jo added it
Shelves: multicultural
The text connection I made while reading Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books by Susan L. Roth & Karen Leggett Abouraya was a text-to-world connection. A text-to-world connection happens when a passage from the text reminds you of something in the real world, where the events in the story remind you of similar/different instances in the real world. This quote from the book reminded me of the Berlin Wall protest in 1989 where many people gathered together to prevent th...more
Elizabeth Keisling
Text-World

This book was based on a real world event. I think this story is meant to be a reminder of how, when we work together and not against each other, we can make something wonderful happen. The Alexandria Library could have been destroyed again, but people saw it as something to be treasured. The Egyptian people came together, and held hands with the person next to them forgetting, even for just a little while, their differences, and stayed focused on the important things.
Everyday, we are...more
Terri Van Loon
This book uses beautiful collage illustrations to tell the true story of how the people of Alexandria, Egypt joined together to save the city's library while the city erupted with violence and protests. This book could be used to teach forms of non-violent protest, and maybe paired with texts about non-violent protests during the Civil Rights Movement. It also could lead students into a discussion about what books and the library meant to the people of Egypt. It would also be useful to read this...more
Tasha
Told from the point of view of one of the protesters in modern Egypt, this is the true story of how the Alexandria Library was saved during the protests. As the crowd moved toward the library, which was built on the same ground as the ancient Library of Alexandria, the library director came outside and spoke to them. He pointed out that the library had no gates to lock and no way to protect the large doors made of glass. It was up to the people to save the treasures inside. The crowd pressed on...more
Amanda Harris
On January 25, 2011, in places such as Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt, protesters marched in public, trying to get President Hosni Mubarak to resign. This was a very intense time politically for this country and during these protests, there was fear that something would happen to the beloved Alexandria Library. The library not only offers a rich history, but it also offers it's residence the freedom of information. As the crowd neared the library, instead of damaging it, people stood holding hands,...more
Ashley Field
People in Egypt are not blessed with the freedom of speech and therefore went on a riot to show their anger towards this issue. The story is told from the point of view of one particular rioter. As they are walking down the street and setting buildings and police cars on fire, the person in the crowd grows worried that they will burn down the Alexandria Library. This library is an ancient and beautiful building that they are allowed to go and read books, learn, and use the internet. As they get...more
Tonya Peck
Audience: This book is perfect for primary readers k-3rd grade.

Appeal: With it's unique pictures and "folktale" like writing, young readers will enjoy learning about a very intense and current topic. The story starts out "Once upon a time" that will grab many children's attention, the illustrations all made out of felt is appealing as well. I think this is a great story that shows strength and passion, and in the end to be able to let the students know that this is a true story is, I think, very...more
Liz
In Egypt there is a library called the Alexandria library. The building is, according to the book, the most beautiful building in Egypt. It houses over 1 million books that include many children's books and many books that tell the history of Egypt. It's on the site of an ancient library that was intended to hold all the knowledge in the world. The ancient library burned down in ancient times.

In January of 2011 the Egyptian people rose up against the regime of Hosni Mubarak. They protested in th...more
Dorothy
Dorothy Schultz
TED 2360
7/14/13


“Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books” by Susan Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya. This story is based on the actual event of the January 25, 2011 Egypt’s 18 day revolution to have President Hosni Mubarak resign his 30 yr. position. As the book confirms it began peacefully throughout many of Egypt’s cities but in the end more than 800 hundred people died. At the end of the book it has a reference page “Alexandria, Then and Now” after reading a...more
Mackenzie Beals
This book is a winner of the Notables Books for a Global Society Award. The book tells the story of life in Egypt when there was widespread protests and chaos. The Library of Alexandria was the one place that Egyptians felt they were safe and could express their freedom. During the protests, Egyptians joined hands and surrounded the library in a human chain. Their chain protected the the library from the dangers of the protesters and showed the world the importance of their library.
Terry
Little Kid Reaction: "Cool" was the single word used to describe the book. Our pre-teen was fascinated with the artwork and hung to every word of the story. She was frustrated that she could not read the protest signs (until we found the transliterations in the back).

Big Kid Reaction: Beautiful on so many levels. The collage artwork is wonderful and the story is very well told. I particularly loved all of the extras in the back - photographs of the actual events and library; the author's persona...more
Cory Mccune
Audience: Primary
Genre: History
Fiction Twin Text: _Please Bury Me in the Library_ by J. Patrick Lewis
_Hands Around the Library_ is a story about people protecting the library in Alexandria, Egypt during the protest that started in January 2011. The Egyptian people who held hands around their library to protect it from vandals knew the importance of the library. _Please Bury Me in the Library_ is a collection of poems about libraries with vivid illustrations. Both of these books could be used as...more
Christine Turner

The inspiring true story of demonstrators standing up for the love of a library, from a New York Times bestselling illustrator In January 2011, in 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, forming a human chain to protect the building. They chanted "We love you, Egypt!" as they stood together for the freedom the library represented. Illustrated with...more
Lauren
Fun, funky, inviting, and unassuming collage art. Great introduction to the story of Arab Spring in Egypt and a love letter to libraries; the narrative is simple enough for younger children, and the notes at the end add a little more meat for older children. Also included at the end are photographs of the library during and around the time of the protests and translations of the Egyptian words written on the protest signs in the book's illustrations. There are resources listed to learn more abou...more
Barbara
I had never heard of the incident described in this picture book in which some of the Egyptian protesters during the January 2011 uprising against the country's regime protected the library of Alexandria. The library itself is a treasure, not just for the books it contains, but for its architecture, its cultural significance, and the sanctity it provides to citizens. It even contains stones containing letters or signs from 500 different alphabets. As I read the book, I was moved by the actions o...more
Brienz Wilkening
This is a very interesting book about the people of Egypt saving their books and their library. The illustrations are very well done in a collage manner, full if vivid colors. Every page is a double page spread of this wonderful artwork. The story is also very moving and without going into too many details it tells the story of the people standing up for their books.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Parrots Over Puerto Rico
  • Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words
  • Those Rebels, John and Tom
  • I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery
  • Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
  • Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller
  • Nic Bishop Snakes
  • The Camping Trip That Changed America
  • The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau
  • Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
  • The Boston Tea Party
  • Bird Talk: What Birds Are Saying and Why
  • Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team
  • Gandhi: a March to the Sea
  • Mrs. Harkness and the Panda
Malala Yousafzai: Warrior with Words Celebrating Diversity Through Creative Writing: Winners & Honorable Mentions 2013-2014

Share This Book