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Posted February 5, 2014
Posted October 11, 2011
*Nice, well-detailed charcoal illustrations. *Storyline assists readers to understand the gender roles in Asia and how they are changing to make economic strides. The novel has a glossary for readers to learn vocabulary like: alpanas, salwar kameez, saree, roshogollah, taka, kurta, and the definition of other words that may be new to the reader. *This is a wonderful tale to enlighten us about other cultural and ethnic groups, it is a delightful family story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 23, 2010
Everyone knows that Naima draws the most beautiful alpana patterns in her Bangladeshi village. But she wonders what good can come from her talent if she can't help her father drive a rickshaw because she's a girl. Money is tight for the family, and Naima worries that her mother's heirloom bracelets will need to be pawned to pay for rickshaw repairs. She's determined to help, even if she has to take a risk to do it.
Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins is the touching story of a girl who longs to put her talents to use. Naima's father is careful to let her and her sister know that he is happy to have daughters, but Naima realizes her society values girls only for cooking, cleaning and carrying water. Education for girls is limited, especially since parents are expected to pay for it. When Naima discovers a woman who has broken the mold to support herself, she can finally see a path to help her own family out of its poverty.
Rickshaw Girl is very accessible for younger readers, and it gives them a glimpse of constraints that can be placed on girls in some societies even today. The charcoal illustrations by Jamie Hogan beautifully capture Naima and her village life. A glossary in the back is a good introduction to terms used in Bangladesh, and the author's note is about micro financing and how it is helping women and girls around the world raise themselves out of the cycle of poverty. I highly recommend it for mother-daughter book clubs with girls aged 7 to 10.