By Mitali Perkins
“You’re a girl. Girls stay home and help their mothers. Boys earn money and work with their fathers. That’s just the way it is.”
– Saleem, Rickshaw Girl
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Children’s Fiction, Novel
Friendship, Community, Poverty, Determination, Gender Roles
6 – 10 years
Naima lives in a small village in rural Bangladesh, where only boys are expected to work and earn money. Her father is a rickshaw driver, and her mother keeps the home, while Naima paints traditional alpanas and does chores. After discovering her family is struggling financially, Naima attempts to drive her father’s rickshaw in hopes of earning money to help – but her plan goes terribly wrong, and she crashes the rickshaw, creating even more debt for the family. But Naima is resourceful and uses her painting gift to save the day.
This story is about overcoming the challenges of societal expectations, friendship, mistakes, and making amends.
It’s mentioned that Naima and her family are Muslim.
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