Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins

Rickshaw Girl book cover

book cover image from goodreads.com

Perkins, Mitali.  Illustrated by Jamie Hogan. Rickshaw Girl.  91 p.  Charlesbridge.  2007.  ISBN 978-1-58089-308-4.

Imagine if you were forbidden to do something because you were a boy or a girl.  Imagine if you were a girl that wanted to help her family and couldn’t because the traditional role of girls was just to help their mother?

Meet Naima.  She is the older of two daughters in a small Bangladeshi village.  Although she is extremely talented in painting alpanas (small geometrical or floral patterns painted on the floor during celebrations and holidays), she cannot help “put rice on the table” with her talent.  Her father, a rickshaw driver, is very proud of his brand new rickshaw.  He is working long hours to be able to pay back the money he borrowed to buy the rickshaw.  Because he has a brand new beautiful rickshaw, he will be able to attract a richer clientele.

Naima becomes more and more frustrated as she watches her father work too hard.  Why can’t she be a boy so she can help her father?  One day, while her father is resting during lunch, she sits in the rickshaw, and decides that she is going to learn how to drive it.  She begins to pedal it, but loses control of it and it crashes into the thick bushes.  Her Dad’s prized new possession is severly dented and scratched.  When her parents see it, Naima feels horrible.  She was trying to help her father, and she just made his life a lot harder.

Naima comes up with a plan to help her father, but it goes against everything her traditional village will accept for a daughter.  Her story has many surprises along the way, grabbing the reader and pulling them in.

Join Naima on her inspiring journey to gain acceptance Check out Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins.

Genre:  Realistic fiction, cultural

Tags: Bangladesh, rickshaw, tradition, girl,

Series: This book is not part of a series.

Author’s website:  Mitali Perkins

A/R Reading level: 4.3

Interest level:  Grades 3-6

Link to Harvest Park Library catalog: Rickshaw Girl

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