Monday, February 3, 2014

Reccomended Picture Book: Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl's Dream of an Education

Title: Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl's Dream of an Education

Author: Elizabeth Suneby

Illustrator: Suana Verelst

Publisher: Kids Can Press, September 1, 2013

Age: 8 - 12

Topics: People and Places: Afghanistan, Girl's Education, Hope

Opening: My cousins and I raced down the road to see what the excitement was about. Men and women were gathering around an empty lot in our village.

Summary: Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small village in Afghanistan, girls haven't been allowed to attend school for many years. When a new girls' school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family and their community.

Resources: Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation has standardized curricular to go along with the book as well as a fact sheet. The book also includes some classroom activities as well as a glossary.

Why I like this Book:  Razia's Ray of Hope is a heart-wrenching yet empowering story of a young girl's courage to go after her dream of getting an education, a dream many young children in developed countries take for granted. It is based on the true stories of the students of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls just outside of Kabul, founded by Razia Jan, a CNN hero, who also appears in the story. The illustrations are beautiful and share insights into another country and culture a world away from us. This book belongs in every home and library.

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