Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Picture Book
Pages: 32
Themes: India, village, female literacy, intergenerational, power of education
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 05/May/2020
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Every morning, a young girl walks her grandmother to the Aajibaichi Shala, the school that was built for the grandmothers in her village to have a place to learn to read and write.

The narrator beams with pride as she drops her grandmother off with the other aajis to practice the alphabet and learn simple arithmetic. A moving story about family, women and the power of education—when Aaji learns to spell her name you’ll want to dance along with her.

Women in countless countries continue to endure the limitations of illiteracy. Unjust laws have suppressed the rights of girls and women and kept many from getting an education and equal standing in society. Based on a true story from the village of Phangane, India, this brilliantly illustrated book tells the story of the grandmothers who got to go to school for the first time in their lives.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials
“Offers its readers a poignantly lively picture book that expressly reveals the power and freedom found in words for women across the world. How great a treat it will be to read this book in a grandmother’s lap. Highly Recommended.”
Here Wee Read blog
“A moving story about family, women and the power of education?when Aaji learns to spell her name you’ll want to dance along with her.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Joy is evident on the page—and infectious...A spirited book about gender, age, rights, and the importance of education.”
“Gorgeous…Colors are crisp and contemporary…Provides a surprising angle to the growing body of children’s books about gender inequality and the continued work of pioneers like Aaji.”
Canadian Children's Book News
"The connection between the little girl and the grandmother is the touching heart of this story."
The Globe and Mail
“A wonderful and poignant story about the need for literacy and how vital learning to read is.”


CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection  | 2020 | Commended
OLA Best Bets Top Ten  | 2020 | Commended
The Egghead: Doug Wright Award for Best Kids' Book  | 2021 | Short-listed
Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award  | 2021 | Short-listed
BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Priz  | 2021 | Winner

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