Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books

Book Summary: 

This story tells about the recent uprising of ordinary people, many of them young people, who stood for their library against violent protesters. As the violence grew closer to their library, they impulsively joined hands to form a human chain of protection. The library was saved by their collective bravery.

Karen Leggett Abouraya
Susan L. Roth
Dial Books
Guiding Question: 

What should people who are oppressed do to break free from oppression? Find some examples of people being oppressed and discuss the degree of oppression.

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- The book starts, “Once upon a time, not a long ago, many people in Egypt were sad and sometimes angry, because they were not free to speak, or vote as they wished, or gather in groups.” This was because their president, Mr. Mubarak, didn’t allow it and used police officers to physically harm and kill people who did not agree with him.

Empathy- How would you feel about the government leaders if you knew they were harming people?

Advocacy- The beginning of advocacy is to be better informed about issues. Use the internet with your teacher to find out more about the Egyptian Revolution of 2011. What are ways you can be an advocate for your own library?

Action- Work with your librarians to create awareness about the event that prompted the book Hands Around the Library. Support your local library by attending some of their special events. Work with the librarians to let them know events you’d like to participate in that they don’t currently offer.