I read People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks a few days ago and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. This book combined many of my loves: reading, historical fiction, and stories of survival and humanity.

As a history teacher, with two young kids, I don’t get much time to read for pleasure during the year. And this past year of the pandemic was the hardest of my career and I had even less time for reading. I have been so happy to slow down and relax this summer and to escape into the world of this book that was so captivating.

This book had been sitting on my nightstand for months and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. It was such a powerful novel about imagined and embellished stories about a real live artifact, the Sarajevo Haggadah. The stories that the author created felt so real and I grew so attached to the people who helped protect this book. I learned so much about history and religion that I didn’t know before. I also learned so much about the human condition.

This is why I love my job. You can always learn more. I was so inspired by this book to keep reading others and keep learning more. I can’t wait to travel and eventually see the real Haggadah. I want to share its story and hope others will get the opportunity to read this book!

– Natalie Hanson (History Teacher)