Children’s Book Study Guides: The Librarian of Basra and Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq

This resource examines two books that offer an opportunity to open up positive discussion about the Iraq War with students.

The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter, and Alia's Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq by Mark Alan Stamaty, tell the story of Alia Muhammed Baker, the chief librarian of Basra, Iraq, who saved 30,000 books from Basra's library before it burned during the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Both authors were inspired by a July 2003 report in the New York Times by Shaila Devan.

The guide outlines questions regarding different learning areas in relation to both books, in order to encourage discussion and participation.


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