Monday, October 15, 2007
Mitali Perkin's Rickshaw Girl is a great early chapter book. Set in Bangladesh, the main character, the narrator, is a young girl named Naima. Naima is well-known for painting/drawing alpana patterns for the traditional Bangladeshi celebrations. But her skills may prove useful in another way, as she discovers just how much she is made of. Naima and her family are poor. Her father drives a rickshaw--that is their income. If he is sick or if business is low, or if something happens to the rickshaw--then their lives--their futures--are up in the air. Naima feels that it is all her fault, if only she hadn't been born a girl--if she'd been a boy--then she'd be out working side by side with her father. Able to help the family earn money to survive. But as it is, a girl's proper place is the home...or is it? Can Naima find a way to be true to herself without dishonoring her family and her culture? This book is an enjoyable read.