Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Paris, Froid

The Paris Library

The Paris Library

Why a Booktrail?

1939: Inspired by the true story of the librarians who risked their lives during the Nazis’ war on words.

  • ISBN: B0825PVRJV
  • Genre: Fiction, Inspired by true events

What you need to know before your trail

Odile Souchet is obsessed with books, and working at The American Library in Paris for the formidable director Dorothy Reeder is all she has ever dreamed of. The Library and its thriving community of students, writers, diplomats and book lovers provide her with a safe haven. When war is declared, the Library is determined to remain open. But then the Nazis invade Paris, and everything changes. The Nazi ‘Library Protector’ changes the rules overnight, declaring a war on words and making the librarians risk their lives to do their jobs.

Under the courageous guidance of Miss Reeder, Odile and her fellow librarians defy the authorities to make sure all their subscribers, even those deemed no longer desirable, get access to books and remain part of their community, whatever the cost.

Choices as black and white as the words on a page become a murky shade of grey – choices that will put many of the wrong side of history, and the consequences of which will echo for decades to come.

Travel Guide

Discover the American Library in Paris BookTrail style

This is the remarkable true story of a little-known chapter of WWII history: the story of the American Library in Paris and the lives of those who worked there and ensured the love of reading never died. They ensured that people, soldiers and Jewish people for example, would be able to continue reading.

It also looks at the very real Miss Reeder, who faced the Nazi ‘Book Protector’ in order to keep her library open. There was also a Bibliotheksschutz which the Nazis put in place to stop Jewish people from entering the library. Miss Reeder and her team went against this rule and ensured reading for all.The library played such a central role in getting people together, keeping reading alive and keeping hope alive during a time of war.

You also get to learn about Dewey Decimal number system. 813 was (American), 840 was for  (French) whilst 302.34 stood for books on (friendship)

BookTrail Boarding Pass: The Paris Library

Destination/location: Paris, Froid  Author/guide: Janet Skeslien Charles  Departure Time: 1939

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