Date and Time
Jun 28, 2022 6:00 pm
“Books are one of the ways people cope with disaster, war and despair…I believe that our souls need books just like our bodies need food.”
- Wafa’ Tarnowska
Forced to take shelter when their Syrian city is plagued with bombings, young Nour and her cousin begin to bravely build a secret underground library. Based on the author's own life experience and inspired by a true story, Nour's Secret Library is about the power of books to heal, transport and create safe spaces during difficult times. Illustrations by Romanian artist Vali Mintzi superimpose the colorful world the children construct over black-and-white charcoal depictions of the battered city.
Nour’s Secret Library is a beautiful, award-winning coming-of-age book, grounded in the true experiences of both author and illustrator. Wafa brings the story to the Busboys’ stage, giving us a peek inside before telling us more about what went behind creating this strong piece of work.
Praise for Nour’s Secret Library
“This dual story—one of destruction, and one of preservation and hope—focuses on the importance of reading during war and the cultural role of libraries and knowledge, especially during times of crisis”
– The Horn Book Magazine
“As their city is ravaged by war, two children and their community create an oasis of hope amid the destruction . . . A warm, engaging, and informative book that’s a valuable addition to children’s literature about war and conflict”
– Kirkus Reviews
“A beautifully told and illustrated story of hope and community”
– The Guardian
This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of NOUR’S SECRET LIBRARY will be available for purchase after the event, and there will be a signing. Full dinner service is available throughout the show. Please note that this event will not be livestreamed.
We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books. Proof of RSVP may be requested on arrival if capacity is reached.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wafa’ Tarnowska is an award-winning writer, translator and storyteller. She was born in Lebanon and has worked and lived in several countries from India, to Australia, to the UAE as well as Cyprus and Lebanon. She currently lives between the UK and Poland, writing, translating books and documentaries and offering storytelling sessions in English and Arabic. Wafa' sees herself as a cultural bridge between East and West, and has also written the award-winning The Arabian Nights for Barefoot Books.