Grade 2–5—Ten-year-old Naima longs to earn money to help her poor Bangladeshi family, but her talent in painting traditional patterns, or alpanas, is no use. While considering whether she could disguise herself as a boy and try to drive her father's rickshaw, she wrecks the vehicle and its painted tin sides on a test-drive, threatening the family's sole livelihood. Her solution is to steal away, disguised as a boy, to a repair shop and offer her services painting decorations on the rickshaws. She is surprised to find that the owner is a woman. When Naima reveals herself, she is hired on the condition that her father will keep bringing her for training at the shop, so that her paintings will help the business. The future looks bright for the girl and her family. Short chapters, well-delineated characters, soft black-line pastel illustrations, and a child-appropriate solution enrich this easy-to-read chapter book that would also appeal to less-able middle school readers. The rich back matter includes an informative glossary of Bangla words, plus a valuable author's note that explains the process of microfinance and its results for poor women in rural markets.—Susan Hepler, formerly at Burgundy Farm Country Day School, Alexandria, VA
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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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
My older grandaughter loved it and was able to identify with the little girl. She like the part when the girl pretended to be a boy and found that girls are just as capable as... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Eileen C.
I purchased this book as I looked for international books for 8-11 year olds. This book does a good job of showing the culture. The end notes are also interesting. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kindle Customer
This book is a great early reader. I am an elementary school librarian and I'm always looking for books that expose my students to cultures around the world. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Lady Librarian
My daughter really liked this story. She's studying India right now for her 5th grade homeschool curriculum and this was one of the fiction books we chose to start the section off. Read morePublished 18 months ago by E. Rier
Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins, is a delightful story of life in one of Bangladesh's small villages. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Powers
At first I thought this story would be above level for interest and understanding. However, my first graders loved it! They were attentive and excited while I read it to them.Published on April 13, 2013 by Rosemary C. O'Shei
Every little girl should read this book or have it read to them. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story is really empowering. Read morePublished on March 5, 2013 by JCP
Submerges you into Bangla culture! My daughter finished it in just two hours, but found the story sweet and compelling, and interesting enough to be the basis for a good girls'... Read morePublished on December 29, 2012 by Cindy Dorsey
Everyone knows that Naima draws the most beautiful alpana patterns in her Bangladeshi village. But she wonders what good can come from her talent if she can't help her father drive... Read morePublished on July 23, 2010 by Cynthia Hudson