Displaced by the Pakistan floods, Rani's family has taken refuge at a relief camp where they are doing their part to help other flood victims. Eight-year-old Rani wants to assist but doesn't know how. Heeding the advice of her father to help in a way only children can, Rani embarks on a journey to bring true joy to a dear friend on the occasion of Eid.
"This sweet, touching story is based on the historic 2010 floods in
Pakistan which affected 8.6 million children. As a result of reading
Rani in Search of a Rainbow or having it read to them, youngsters will be introduced to the culture of Pakistan."
--WAYNE WALKER, Home School Book Reviews
"Abdullah's use of poetic language and Rani's quest to find her place in her community will keep readers turning the pages until the end."
--GWENDOLYN HOOKS, author of 17 books for young readers
"Rani in Search of a Rainbow glows under the colorful hues of its text and rich characters. As readers, we are taken into a unique setting that one would not expect to visit in the confi nes of a children's picture book."
--JEWEL KATS, author of Reena's Bollywood Dream and Cinderella's Magical Wheelchair
SHAILA ABDULLAH is an award-winning author and designer based in Austin, Texas.
Her other books include: Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend
Suhana, and A Manual for Marco. The author has received several awards for her work including the Golden Quill Award and Patras Bukhari Award for English Language.
For more information please visit www.ShailaAbdullah.com
From Growing With Love Series at Loving Healing Press www.LHPress.com
Juvenile Fiction : Social Issues - Homelessness & Poverty
|Publisher:||Loving Healing Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.12(d)|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
Read an Excerpt
Rani woke up to shimmering sun rays and raced outside the tent. She squinted at the sun until sunspots danced in front of her eyes. She laughed at the dotted campsite around her.
"It will be a great day," she sang and danced around the poles of her tent. The sun was a welcome break from days of continuous rain.
A few weeks ago, the rain had started innocently in their village in Pakistan. Pitter patter, dancing droplets were a signal to the young children that it was time to celebrate by dancing. And dance they did. But the rain did not stop.
And in a few days, the bright blues of the rain turned to murky browns and stayed still on the ground. Rivers and creeks overflowed, but the rain did not stop.
Unaware, Rani and her friends pid-paddled, danced, and ran in the water, splashing each other until worried grownups removed them from the rising water. Rain, the adults warned, was not a friend anymore. That is when the dancing stopped.
"It is time to leave," Daadi, Rani's grandma, announced.
And for once, Rani did not ask why. Families ran in different directions. Rani's friends were rushing behind their own families in a sea of color — red, blue, pink, and yellow. In their hands, they clutched what little they could save from the floods — a book or two, a favorite doll, a change of clothes.
From a distance, Rani's home looked like a helpless boat as the water surrounded it. All Rani could think of were her treasures in there: her tiny notebook with her essay on what she wanted to be when she grew up, the blanket she slept with each night, the red dress that Daadi had stitched for her to wear to the upcoming festival of Eid. This year, she knew there wouldn't be an Eid celebration.
Rani's family was soon rescued and flown to a refugee campsite in a helicopter. Rani caught the first glimpse of her new home from thousands of miles away. From high above, the tents looked like hundreds of overturned books of all shapes and sizes.
It had been a few days since Rani's family had arrived at the campsite, and Rani was now busy making new friends.
"Beeni is having a baby," her father told her one day. "Your mother has gone to help her."
Rani's mother helped deliver babies. A few tents away, a woman named Beeni was waiting for her baby to come. Just three days ago, Rani had paid Beeni a visit and pressed her ears to her belly, listening to the soft hiccup of her baby. "No," she had told Beeni, shaking her head. "She is not coming today."
The woman laughed. "Rani, how do you know?" she asked. "And how do you know for sure that it is a girl?" "I just know," shrugged Rani. "I have the gift."
Rani skipped toward Beeni's tent, holding her headscarf close to her face. "The baby didn't come that day," she thought happily to herself. "But she will come today."
"I am going to help unload some supplies at the relief center," her father called out to her. "They need all the help they can get. A few more families arrived yesterday. Stay safe."
Outside Beeni's tent, Rani caught sight of her mother coming out with a big tray of supplies, her long purple scarf draped around her head.
"What are you doing here?" her mother asked.
"I have come to see the baby," said Rani, unable to contain her excitement.
"She came a few minutes ago," her mother said.
"I knew it," laughed Rani, her eyes sparkling. She did a little victory dance for her mother's amusement.
Inside the tent, Beeni's baby was fast asleep, draped in a white cloth so thin that you could feel her little elbows through the fabric. Rani picked up the baby and kissed her soft cheek.
"I want to help," said Rani, turning to her mother. "What can I do?"
Her mother looked around and shook her head. "I am afraid there isn't much you can do here," she said.
Rani was disappointed. After a while, she got tired of looking at the baby, who did nothing but sleep. Rani decided to pay a visit to her friend Juju.
Excerpted from "Rani in Search of a Rainbow"
Copyright © 2014 Shaila Abdullah.
Excerpted by permission of Loving Healing Press, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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