Friday, January 27, 2012

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury AND The Librarian of Basra, Jeanette Winter

Last night, I had class at USC and I had to tutor a 3rd grade girl in reading. At the end of our tutoring session in her school's media center, I always let her pick out a picture book that she wants me to read to her. 

Her choice yesterday was The Librarian of Basra, by Jeanette Winter. I had never read this book before, and I really enjoyed it. The story is about a librarian in Basra (a city in Iraq). As war comes close to her town, her library faces closure and the books face a fate of destruction. So, she takes books, night-by-night, to her home to protect them. 

This reminds me of Fahrenheit 451, which I am reading with my 7th graders right now. Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel in which technology has taken over and the government no longer allows people to read. Some people have hidden books in their homes (including the main character, Montag), and they get sniffed out by the "Mechanical Hound" (like a modern day firehouse dog) and burned by the fire department. 

I can't imagine living in a society where books were threatened, like in The Librarian of Basra and Fahrenheit 451. I'd like to imagine that if I did live in a world like that, though, I would be one of the courageous ones who would risk my life and safety to save books. Would you? 

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