Hands around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books

In January 2011, in a moment that captured the hearts of people all over the world, thousands of Egypt’s students, library workers, and demonstrators surrounded the great Library of Alexandria and joined hands, forming a human chain to protect the building. They chanted “We love you, Egypt!” as they stood together for the freedom the library represented.

Illustrated with Susan L. Roth’s stunning collages, this amazing true story demonstrates how the love of books and libraries can unite a country, even in the midst of turmoil.

Climbing the Stairs

A remarkable debut novel set in India that shows one girl’s struggle for independence. During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather’s large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible. Vidya’s only refuge becomes her grandfather’s upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya’s brother decides to fight with the hated British against the Nazis, and when Raman proposes marriage too soon, Vidya must question all she has believed in. Padma Venkatraman’s debut novel shows a girl struggling to find her place in a mixed-up world. Climbing the Stairs is a powerful story about love and loss set against a fascinating historical backdrop.

Take a closer look at Climbing the Stairs as examined in WOW Review.