Mitali Perkins has created yet another wonderful novel about strong, cultural girls. In Rickshaw Girl, we meant Naima, a ten-year old girl living in Bangladesh. Her father owns a rickshaw business, finally gaining more business as he gets a brand new rickshaw, but still not enough business to pay the family bills. Naima is upset because she knows if she had been born a boy she could help earn money for the family, but being that she is a girl she has no choice but to stay home and work on her painting.
When Naima decides to disguise herself as a boy and teach herself how to drive the rickshaw, she manages to crash the rickshaw, damaging the beauty of the cart and ruining all chances of her father continuing to gain new clients. Devastated, she again disguises herself as a boy and steals away to a new repair shop the next town over, hoping she can somehow earn money to help repair the damaged rickshaw. What she finds in the repair shop is surprising, heartwarming, and inspirational.
This short novel was fantastic and typical Mitali Perkins writing. Young girls can read this and feel empowered to do anything they want to do, no matter what that may be. The story is also accompanied by a few illustrations that not only add to the plot, but also allow the reader to view the work Naima can do. The book was really quite amazing.