Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins and Jamie Hogan
Review: As I'm preparing to move to Bangladesh in a few months, one of the things I'm doing is reading books about it. I'm reading books for older people, like A Golden Age, but I'm also reading as many children's books about Bangladesh as possible, because a) I can read children's books faster and b) there just aren't that many books about Bangladesh out there.
Rickshaw Girl was good. Written at about a 2nd grade reading level, it tells a story of Naima, who is crazy frustrated by gender restrictions. She desperately wants to help her family earn money, but she can't because (in her village at least) girls and women don't work or earn money. Despite how predictable her story is, I was happy to see her find a role model by the end, who helps her overcome gender roles in her community by giving her a chance.
I could feel the love Naima and her family have for each other, and my heart broke with Naima when, in the process of trying to help her family financially, she accidentally makes it worse.
Overall, I feel like this book helped me gain a perspective for what life is like in rural Bangladesh. I think it would be a great story to share with kids (and grown-ups) who want to learn about and understand other cultures.
Goodreads Shelves: be-proactive, bechdel-test, my-kind-of-woman, thought-provoking