Review: Abdel Kader Haidara spent a lifetime collecting and guarding the ancient scrolls and books of his culture – only to see them threatened by Islamic extremist. Calling upon the librarians of the collections, and their families, he organized a daring and clandestine operation to move the priceless relics to safety.
I expected this book to get more into the actual operation. Instead, Hammer starts with the life of Haidara and moves into the history of the region and the rise of the Islamic extremist. While the focus is on the libraries, the story encompasses more than just the fate of the scrolls. Hammer gets into political and social context of the event and why these people would feel threatened by the knowledge contained in these works of art.
Despite being more a history book, the prose is lively and fast-paced, uses easy to understand vocabulary, and reads more like an article in a general magazine than a history book. It is easily readable by someone with a middle school reading level and possibly for elementary age children. There is mention of violence and some of the atrocities committed by the Islamic extremist, but nothing gory.
It wasn’t what I expected but I enjoyed it, and found it enlightening.
Bookmarks: 4 of 5
Year Published: April 2016
Date Finished: 3-27-2017