We’re at the halfway point for the A to Z Challenge. It’s been interesting. My mini-memoirs continue to show up daily (except for Sundays). You’ll know too much about me by the end of the month. Thanks for reading, blogging and visiting. Have a great weekend — Stacy

For Perfect Picture Book Fridays, I’ve chosen Nasreen’s Secret School A True Story from Afghanistan.

Nasreen’s Secret School A True Story from Afghanistan
Written and Illustrated By Jeanette Winter
Beach Lane Books, 2009

Suitable for: Ages 6-9

Theme/Topic: Girls, Education, Loss

Opening: My granddaughter, Nasreen, lives with me in Herat, an ancient city in Afghanistan.
Art and music and learning once flourished here.

Brief Synopsis:

Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared.
In despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of her shell of sadness?
Based on a true story from Afghanistan, this inspiring book will touch readers deeply as it affirms both the life-changing power of education and the healing power of love. — Amazon.com book description.

Link to resources: Nasreen’s Secret School Reinforcing Activity and Schools for Girls. Author and Illustrator Jeanette Winter shares statistics in her author’s note about how women and girls lived before and after Taliban rule in Afghanistan. Her note along with the story offern many discussion points about how women and girls are treated in different cultures as well as the availability of education in different nations.

Why I chose this book: I wanted to read The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq after reading Patricia’s review on Children’s Books Heal. My library didn’t have The Librarian of Basra, but had Nasreen’s Secret School and a few others by Jeanette Winter. So, I loaded up my digital hold list and waited. I wasn’t disappointed with the story. Stories like this make me ask myself: Would I have the courage to do this? I hope the answer would be yes, but I also hope I never have to find out.

To find more picture books and resources, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and look for the Perfect Picture Books page.