Thursday, 3 December 2020

The Library Bus

Finished November 30
The Library Bus by Bahram Rahman, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard


This picture book was written by a Canadian who immigrated here from Afghanistan and was inspired to document the struggle for education faced by not only the women in his family, but for thousands of others. 
The main character here is a young girl, Pari, who helps her mother run a library bus that operates in and near the city of Kabul in Afghanistan, and focuses on the literacy of young girls. We see Pari going with her mother on one day. Their first stop is a small village where the girls are eager to learn and exchange their books. Pari's mother does a storytime during the stop as well. They then move on to a refugee camp where Pari is delegated to hand out notebooks and pencils to those that need them while her mother helps them with books before a storytime. Pari notices the outward difference in the girls clothing and surroundings, but finds them all eager to learn. She is glad she is able to help her mother in this task and looks forward to being able to attend school herself and expand her learning. Her mother explains that the girls they served don't have access to schools, so this library bus is one of the only educational resources available to them. 
The book ends with a note from the author and a brief side note on refugee camps.
The illustrations were lovely, with the girls seen as individuals and the eagerness clearly portrayed. I loved the colours used here as well. And, of course, how could I not love a book about libraries and their importance.

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