Reading Club: Children's Book (7-9 years old) | The Antlered Ship - Εικόνα

In April, the SNFCC Reading Club is dedicated to the memory of Filippos Tsimpoglou, Director General of the National Library of Greece (NLG).

Ιn April, the Children’s Reading Club for our young booklovers resumes facilitated by Sofianna Theofanous. Actress and writer Sofianna Theofanous has written operas and picture books for children, and has been honored with the Greek National Award for a Theatrical Play for Children and Teenagers for her play Merry Christmas, My Dear Charlie.

This month’s Reading Club will be discussing Jeanette Winter's The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq

On Sunday, April 30, our young readers will meet to share impressions, feelings and thoughts, and to embark on an imaginary journey, sparked by the book of the month, into the fascinating worlds emerging from its pages.

The book

Nobody likes war; but there are still places in the world that are destroyed by it. We learn that people are fleeing, trying to get into other countries to save their lives. But what about artworks? What about museums? What about books? How can we save books?

Are there people who love books so much that they would try to save them at the risk of their own lives? Well, The Librarian of Basra, Alia, did precisely that. She saved them.

The invasion of Iraq reached Basra on April 6, 2003. With the help of friends and neighbors, Alia Muhammad Baker, a librarian at Basra’s central library, managed to rescue seventy per cent of the library’s books before the library was burned to the ground nine days later.

The events were revealed to the world by New York Times journalist Shaila K. Dewan, who found out about Alia and the library during her visit to Anis Muhammad’s restaurant “Hamdan,” the best restaurant in Basra, located near the library.

Shailas’s interpreter said that Anis had an incredible story to tell, a story of the war, so Shaila met Anis. Alia, who participated in the discussion, shared this amazing story with them. Now she is determined to see the library up and running again.

An important storybook on how love of books can literally save them.

And since April 2 is International Children’s Book Day, we will honor it by bringing our favorite book with us and sharing our love of it at the Book Club.

The author

Jeanette Winter is an American author and illustrator, best known for her children’s books, many of which are about notable women in history, especially artists. Now she is 85 years old and still going strong.

The facilitator

Sofianna Theofanous 
was born in Athens and graduated with honors from the Department of Communication, Media and Culture of Panteion University, and the Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun. She was a member of the Experimental Stage of the National Theater of Greece, to then serve as an actor for 12 years at the National Theater and later the Free Theater. She has written two operas for children, commissioned by the Greek National Opera and the Municipal and Regional Theatre of Patras, two children’s picture books, and step outlines for television. Among other things, when she is not acting in theater, she illustrates and organizes productions of the Athens Festival. In 2022, she was honored with the Greek National Award for a Theatrical Play for Children and Teenagers for her play Merry Christmas, My Dear Charlie.

Activities for children before the Reading Club meeting:

•    Imagine what your ideal library would be like, and join us to discuss it
•    Bring along your favorite book to share your love of it with everyone else

Sunday 30/04


NLG Kids Lab

Up to 22 participants 

Free admission with online pre-registration

Preregistration starts on 03/04 at 12.00

As part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center's collaboration with the National Library of Greece, the book for the Reading Club has been chosen by NLG staff members.

See also

Saturday 28/01, 17:30

Reading Club: Children’s Book (ages 10–12) | George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt


Monday 23/01, 18:30

Reading Club: Javier Cercas, Soldiers of Salamis


Sunday 29/01, 13:00

Reading Club: Teenage Literature | Chrysanthi Tsiambali, Rosa Parks: For a Place in the World