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What would you do to protect the books you love? Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books tells the story of how Egypt’s political unrest and violent protests in January 2011 placed the present day Bibliotheca Alexandrina in danger of being damaged and possibly destroyed. Newly constructed with glass doors, ungated, and circumvented by a highway, the library was vulnerable to damage both outside and within.

Through collage illustrations, the book shows how children, young people, and adults circled the library and lined the streets as a physical symbol of their desire to protect the library. It presents an excellent opportunity to introduce children to the history of one of the oldest libraries in the world, the great Library of Alexandria dating back some 2,300 years. Readers are invited to consider the question “What would you do to protect something you love?” Ages 3 and up. (Dial Books)

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