Looking for more own-voices books for children, grandchildren, or students to enjoy? These two gems will work as read-aloud books for younger girls or the perfect bedside companion for older girls.
I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.
Two More Own-Voices Books Your Girls Will Love
What IS an own-voices book? Simple. A book written about a culture by a person who grew up as part of that culture. These two books serve dual purposes. A non-minority girl who reads them will come to appreciate the wider world around her. A marginalized girl (due to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or skin color) will discover there ARE people just like her who make important contributions to art, literature, politics, advocacy, and world peace.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World
Various authors and illustrators, Rebel Girls Publishing, October 2020, 244 pages. 5-99
An inspiring book, no matter what your age. The Rebel Girls team put together the stories of 100 immigrant women who have changed their world—regardless of their immigrant status. I’d heard of a few of the women featured, but I learned a lot about the contributions of women to history, science, politics, humanitarian efforts, education, advocacy, and sports.
The easy-to-read format includes a short biography of each woman, along with a colorful portrait of the immigrant woman. Own voices and BIPOC artists and writers created much of the content of the book—making it a smorgasbord of talent girls everywhere will appreciate.
This book would make a great gift for Christmas, birthdays, or just-because-days. Teachers and librarians need to buy multiple copies because once students discover representation in literature, the book will fly off the shelves. Kudos to Rebel Girls for providing more own-voices books for young readers.Every teacher, librarian, parent, and grandparent needs to buy this book. You don't have to be a girl to appreciate the heroes between its covers. @RebelGirls #BIPOC #ownvoices #marginalizedvoices #amreading Click To Tweet
A Thousand Questions
Saadia Faruqi, Quill Tree Books, October 2020, 320 pages, 3rd-9th grade.
Mimi, an American by birth and a half-Pakistani who has never met her grandparents in person, heads to Karachi, Pakistan with her mother for the summer. Ever since her parents divorced, Mimi and her mother have been poor. So when she first enters her grandparents’ home and discovers servants and cooks, she doesn’t quite know what to think.
She has a thousand questions about her mother’s family, her father, and why they lived in poverty in Houston when her grandparents have wealth. Mostly, she dreams of one day finding her father and asking him why he left them.
Sakina, the cook’s daughter, dreams of one day attending school. For now, she knows she must assist her father in the rich family’s kitchen. But one day, if her English improves enough, she may win a scholarship. An education could lift her family out of poverty and change their lives forever.
When she first meets Mimi, the rich granddaughter of her employers, she doesn’t think they have much in common. Mimi seems so clueless.
As the girls get to know each other, they begin to respect each other in ways that will change them forever.
Why I Loved This Book
The beautiful, tender prose by Pakistani-American author Saadia Faruqi paints a many-layered portrait of family, friendships, and culture. Although of Pakistani descent, Mimi speaks little of her grandparent’s language. She matures over the summer from a clueless American to a young woman who asks a thousand questions that get the adults around her thinking, too.
We need more own voices books like this one to help children (and adults) understand cultural differences can separate us, or give us a reason to find commonalities and come together in unique communities.Don't miss this exceptional own-voices book by @SaaadiaFaruqui. It may be listed as a MG book, but everyone should read it. Yes, even YOU!. #amreading #ownvoices #giftideasforgirls Click To Tweet
Both of these books sound amazing. The first one really intrigues me. I didn’t learn about immigrant women in my history classes.
I didn’t either! In fact, I didn’t learn much about women in my history classes :/.