Razia's Ray of Hope

by Elizabeth Suneby
illustrated by Suana Verelst

Ref: 2810

One day, Baba gi makes an important announcement: he tells granddaughter, Razia, that the village will be building a school for girls. Razia begs him to persuade her family to let her attend. And so, Baba gi holds a conference with all of the men in the family, reminding them of a recent period when women in Afghanistan had full access to education, which in turn brought huge benefits to the country. Unconvinced, they are then approached by a fictionalised Razia Jan (see below) who, again, tries to convince the men of the benefits, saying: "If men are the backbone of Afghanistan, then women are the eyes of our country". Will Razia finally get the chance to learn? A very good-looking picture book inspired by the life of Razia Jan who, passionate about the often neglected rights of girls to an education, set up a school for girls in her home country of Afghanistan (Kabul) in 2008. She was honoured by CNN as one of their Top 10 heroes of 2012. Extra resources at the back are notes on a right to an education and the real Razia Jan, a neat little glossary of Dari words (the form of Persian spoken in Afghanistan) and some genuinely purposeful classroom activities. 'I really liked this. The education of girls (and the decisions made by men) has to be dealt with truthfully and sensitively. I like the illustrations too, a mixture of muted colours and collage with great fabric detail' (Patrice, YA author, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 5-8, Paperback 30pp