Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nasreen's Secret School review

Jacket description:
"Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared. 

In despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of sadness?"

This awesome book, based on a true story from Afghanistan, begins with an author's note, filled with facts on living life under the rule of the Taliban. Some background on the Global Fund for Children, the organization responsible for the idea of the book, is also included. This organization is "committed to advancing the dignity of children and youth around the world. The Global Fund for Children pursues its mission by making small grants to innovative community-based organizations working with some of the world's most vulnerable children and youth.

I loved that the story of Nasreen was told by her grandmother. An obviously courageous woman, she took the step to send her granddaughter to a secret school, simply to turn her sadness at losing her parents into hope, never realizing how much Nasreen would learn and grow from the experience.
The plot and the illustrations go very nicely together, brimming with a simplicity that is necessary for this type of story. Children can learn about a different part of the world, one where children are not necessarily free to go to school as we are in this country, opening up a platform for discussion of many different topics. It's hard to talk about war to a group of young children, but using Nasreen's story may be a nice starting point.

I really enjoy books put out by Global Fund for Children, not only because they are quality, educational stories, but also because I feel we all need to know what is going on around our world. All of us. Not just the adults. Children need to know that if they lived in Afghanistan and were female, they very well may be in Nasreen's situation. School is not always a given.

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
Jeanette Winter
40 pages
Picture Book
Beach Lane Books
October 2009
Review copy received from publisher

To learn more, or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon. I am an Associate and will receive a small commission for your purchase. Thank you!

1 comment:

Tamar Schiffman said...

Thank you so much for the great review of Nasreen! Please stay tuned for our upcoming books - Grandparents and American Babies!