Barbara's Reviews > Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books

Hands Around the Library by Karen Leggett Abouraya
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Sep 05, 12

bookshelves: art, civil-rights, community, cultural-identity, friendship, ncbla2013, picture-book, word-lovers
Read in September, 2012

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 of those protesters who linked hands with the building's librarian, Dr. Serageldin, and kept the building safe. The illustrations consisting of collage and photo montages are pretty amazing too. The love of some humans for their libraries knows no bounds. I was thrilled to read this story, and I'm sure many young readers will too. Heroism comes from many directions.
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