No one knows how or why, but one day, during a violent storm, the library Jacques Prévert, a large cubic block of gray concrete, casts off with it its director, the librarian, the students of a high-school 1st-year class and their technology teacher, a housemaid and Saïd, a solitary teenager who was there by chance. After having accepted that something incredible happened and a first panic reaction, adults and children have to take the bar and turn into sailors: they must get food, find fresh water, organise life aboard. In this situation, everybody’s contribution is equally important. But the library itself will offer a valuable help: books help spending time during long sailing hours, offer solutions to practical problems, soothe homesickness and children can compare their experience to Robinson’s adventures or to “The Thousand and One Nights”. The journey lasts 28 days, with discoveries, adventures, disputes and joy. At the end, both children and adults have grown up and changed, as their made an introspective journey too.
The novel is a tribute to culture and books, but this story of people who find a way of living and interacting together in spite of their many differences also gives prominence to the same values that are at the basis of European Community, such as mediation, cooperation, solidarity, integration, acceptance.