Author Spotlight: Jeanette Winter
from Miss Melanie at Main
I want to draw attention to three books by author/illustrator Jeanette Winter that highlight the importance of books, libraries, and learning. In this country, we are very lucky to be able to take our libraries for granted even though we shouldn’t. In many countries around the world people don’t have easy access to books and learning, and they go to great lengths to get access to books and to make sure everyone who wants to learn has the opportunity.
In Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia, Luis Soriano is determined to share his love of books with children in isolated villages where books are scarce. He uses two burros, one for carrying the books, and one to ride on the long journeys across the hills to the eager children of rural Colombia. Recommended for ages 6-9.
PBS just did a documentary on Luis Sorian0! Watch the trailer below!
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq is an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a winner of the Bank Street College of Education’s Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for nonfiction. Alia is the librarian of Basra’s Central Library in Iraq, who was able to save 70% of the library’s priceless collection before the library burned to the ground 7 days later in 2003 due to bombing in the Iraq War. Recommended for ages 6-9.
- Read an interview with Jeanette about this book.
Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
The Global Fund for Children, a nonprofit organization committed to helping children around the world, contacted Jeanette Winter to write a book based on a true story from one of the groups they support. The author chose an organization in Afghanistan that founded and supported secret schools for girls during the 1996-2001 reign of the Taliban. During this time girls weren’t allowed to attend school, and still they are attacked or threatened if they go to school, but some courageous people defy the tyranny by keeping the schools open.
Recommended for ages 6-9.