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Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books
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Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  172 ratings  ·  87 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
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 30th 2012 by Dial Books
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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
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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
Salina King
Dec 09, 2014 Salina King added it
Shelves: t-l-307
Hands Around the Library is a book based in 2011 in Egypt when protesters wanted to destroy the Alexandra Library. This library holds a large amount of historical information and the loss of that information would be devastating. This book uses wonderful illustrations to show a young reader what happened during that time. This book is a great way to introduce young readers not only a different culture but also to the importance of history and protecting those historical documents. I would use th ...more
Mi Ngo
Hands around the library told a story of how people in Egypt were able to protect the library they cherish from angry rioters by everyone holding hands surrounding it. This was in 2011, a time where Egyptians wanted their voice to be heard and freedom for the people. This story showed that if people are taught to love, then others can see compassion and be inspired to love as well.

I continue to love the mixed media collages. The people are adorable. The story overall was nice to read about beca
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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
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Mallory
I enjoyed reading this book and hearing the story of the people of Egypt came together to protect their library in a time of need. (text-to-self) I had never heard this story before but it made me realize that even in a time of crisis or high emotions many people can come together for a common cause. I loved hearing that the protestors protected the beautiful library in spite of the other emotions running through the country. (text-to-world) I enjoyed that this book was a true story and able to ...more
Rachel
On the ashes of the Great Library of Alexandria stands its descendent, the Bibliotheca Alexandria, which remains unharmed thanks to Egypt's people. In 2011, protesters took to the streets to fight for their rights, but as it is with most demonstrations, miscreants sought trouble. Wanting to protect a place of freedom, and cultural pride, many people rallied around the library. This encouraging tale makes one's heart swell with pride. The socio-economic, and political elements of the revolution a ...more
Shelby Zimmerman
This inspiring story is about the 2011 event in which people stood and held hands around a library in Egypt in order to protect it. People from different background grabbed each other’s hands and yelled “We love you, Egypt!”. They raised a flag across the steps and stood as the world watched them protect their library. Because of this, their library is still standing.
I would say that the authentic dialogue of the love for the Alexandria Library shows the strong meaning it has to the people. One
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Leah Jackman
This book is discussing the time in 2011 when Protesters stormed Egypt and tried to hurt the Alexandra Library that is full of historical information. This would be a tragedy if it was harmed. The book discusses what the protestors did to help preserve the library. Using images and creative ways to show what happened during that time in 2011 the story shows an interesting way to project the story towards a younger crowd in a way they can imagine the protest and what happened in a different natio ...more
Emily Sirota
The book overall was not one of the best that I have read. It is a historical fiction book about the treasured books of Egypt, which is shown through out the book. The story takes place in a library setting where the story teller starts sharing her experiences as she fights to keep the library standing. The story wasn't very interesting to me personally, and before reading this I would advise you to have read previous information about this topic due to the fact that the book itself is not that ...more
Gabrielle Blockton
Date: November 4th, 2014

Author: Susan L. Roth and Karen Leggett Abouraya; Collages by Susan L. Roth

Title: Hands Around the Library

Plot: This picture-book is based on true events. A young crowd of students and young children stand outside of the Alexandria Library in Egypt to protect vandals from burning down the city's important gem.

Setting: Egypt, Alexandria Library

Characters: Dr. Ismail Serageldin; Author; Various characters

Point-of-View: First-Person

Theme: Knowledge, Freedom, Protesting,
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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
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
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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
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Madison Lakey
May 02, 2015 Madison Lakey added it
Shelves: t-l-307
This story is about the day in January 2011 when thousands of Egypt’s students, library workers, and demonstrators surrounded the great Library of Alexandria linking arms to protect the building and the contents of it. While doing so they chanted “We love you, Egypt!”. This book is the perfect example of how the love for books and libraries can unite a country, even in the midst of turmoil. I really liked this book because it brings a big issue down to a simpler way for children to understand. T ...more
Katie Levin
Hands Around the Library tells the story of an event that occurred in Egypt on January 25th, 2011. Egypt was in the middle of a revolution and thousands of violent people swarmed the streets begging for liberation. The beautiful Alexandria Library stood in the middle of the protests and was in danger of being destroyed in the revolution. As shown in the novel, several thousands of people gathered and held hands around the library protecting the beautiful building that represented freedom for all ...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
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Holly Leendertsen
Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt's Treasured Books is a heartwarming story about people coming together to save the books of Egypt. During the Egyptian revolution, protesters marched through Alexandria and were quite destructive. When they reached the library, the protesters stopped. They began to join hands around the library to protect it. This book is extremely powerful, and shows what love can accomplish. The library was a place of freedom and acceptance, and was a symbol to Egypt. ...more
Sarah Herman
This book, Hands Around the Library, 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 Library. The library director c ...more
Madison Young
Hands Around the Library tells the beautiful story of an event that occurred in Egypt on January 25th, 2011. Egypt was in the middle of a revolution and thousands of violent people swarmed the streets begging for liberation. The beautiful Alexandria Library stood in the middle of the protests and was in danger of being destroyed in the revolution. As shown in the novel, several thousands of people gathered and held hands around the library, protecting the beautiful building that represented free ...more
Niko Gregg
This book tells the story of Egyptian culture and shows how a community came together in order to save something that everyone enjoyed. They were trying to save the Alexandria Library that everyone had grown to love that contained ancient Egyptian stories and the history of their people. They felt that even though they may not be free, they felt free while inside the walls of the library. A crowd was gathering in front of the library, protesting about it being destroyed when a young boy ran to t ...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.
Taylor Shanda
Hands Around the Library tells the story of the riots in Egypt relating to their desire for the freedom of speech. As the crowds approaches, the narrator tells of the value of the books in the Alexandria library and the history contained within the books there. As the marchers approach the crowd becomes hostile and the administrator of the library fears the contents will be in danger. But after a speech the crowd realizes the importance of what they are marching for and continues to march for th ...more
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
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