"In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.'" — Alia Muhammad Baker
Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library — along with the thirty thousand books within it — will be destroyed forever.
With the help of people in her community, Alia managed to smuggle thousands of books to safety — in homes, local businesses, anywhere that they wouldn't be a target for soldiers. In a war-stricken country where civilians, especially women, have little power, this true story about a librarian's struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries.