Perkins draws on her family roots to tell the lively contemporary story of a young Bangladeshi girl who challenges the traditional role of women in her village so that she can help her struggling family in hard times. Naima’s parents cannot afford to pay school fees for her anymore, but she wins the village prize for painting the best traditional alpana patterns. She wishes she could help her father drive his rickshaw, and one day, disguised as a boy, she drives–and crashes–it. How will they afford to fix the dents and tears? More than just a situation, this short chapter book tells a realistic story with surprises that continue until the end. Hogan’s bold black-and-white sketches show the brave girl, the beautiful traditional alpana painting and rickshaw art, and the contemporary changes in the girl’s rural home. An author’s note and a glossary enhance the moving story. Hazel Rochman
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Selected by the New York Public Library as one of the best 100 children’s books of the past 100 years.