The Librarian of Basra

By Jeanette Winter

Winter, J. (2005). The Librarian of Basra. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Orlando, Florida.

Age Level: 1-3

Genre: Nonfictional Children's Literature

Topic/Theme: Multiculturalism, working as a community

Awards: None found


The Librarian of Basra By Jeanette Winter by Skyguy08

Other Books written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter



– Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas,

thoughts, and feelings.


– Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.


· Students will be able to describe their feelings through writing and drawings.

· Students will be able to describe how characters from the story respond to challenges.

Classroom Application

Students can express how the book made them feel by drawing a library for the librarian and then make a short journal entry describing how the book made them feel.

Students can write a letter to librarian of Basra praising her for her courage and strength during her diffucult time.

Culturally Relevant Examples

Common Bonds in humanity

It is important to look at the common characteristics when looking at this book. Relating it back to the reader really makes it a much more emotional and strong piece. Alia the librarian in the story shows the importance of education and remembering her history by saving the books from the library. I think that is just one of the things that we as Americans can relate to when refering to this book. Another thing is just sticking up for what you believe in. The librarian was told that she couldn't do any thing with the books by the government, but she went ahead and did it anyways because she knew that it was the right thing to do.

Cultural Character

Alia Muhammad Baker is the main character in this book. She is the librarian of a city called Basra located in Iraq. She has a Middle Eastern name, but I think it might have a typical American last name to make it a little more relatable to people. The other characters in the book though definitely have a typical Middle Eastern name. It also relates to show how the government and people in charge don't help the people out with their problems. This is also a good representation of what actually goes on while living over in Iraq during that time period.

Cultural Setting

This story is definitely relavent in cultural setting. The story recaps the true events on what was actually happening with in Iraq at that time. This story was published and is talking about the same time that Iraq was going through a war. It is deffinitely relavent to what was actually happening to the people during that time period. Many people were hiding things and were just trying to survive. I am sure that there were many cases such as the one told in the book where people came together to try and conserve the rich history that the country has built over the years.

Skyler Manning