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Time for another SJBWM rich mentor text... The Librarian of Basra tells the true story of librarian Alia Muhammad Baker, who struggles to save her community's collection during the war in Iraq.
- Read the first page - Use Google Earth or a globe to find out where Iraq is; look online for photos of the pre-war library
- Read up to "war" -- make predictions about what might happen next
- What are "Matters of the Spirit"?
- Why is it a problem fro Alia and the library that war has arrived?
- While reading, make a list of characteristics of Alia on sticky notes or chart paper
- Why do you think the books are so important to Alia?
- Why might the governor have refused to help save the books?
- Alia "takes matters into her own hands". Tell about a time you have taken matters into your own hands.
- What words would you use to describe Alia's character? Why?
- In your opinion, is Alia a "hero"? Why or why not?
- go online to find photos of the destroyed library
- research the follow up -- has the library since been rebuilt?
- visit a local or bigger library in the community; consider preparing interview questions for the librarian