Book Links September 2016 www.booklistonline.com/booklinks 30
Malala’s bravery in resisting the
Taliban’s efforts to keep girls from
going to school in northern Pakistan.
Photographs of beautiful, strong, vulnerable girls from all over the world
reiterate that, in many countries,
poverty, discrimination, and violence
systematically keep women powerless.
Librarians and teachers will find this
book to be a powerful springboard for
conversations about difficult topics.
Interviews with Muslim Women of
Pakistan. By Chiara Angela Kovarik.
2005. Serving House, o.p. Gr. 7–10.
In 10 lively interviews, American
teenager Kovarik talks to Pakistani
Muslim women who live in Pakistan,
the U.S., and Canada. She asks them
about their spiritual beliefs, about
American misconceptions of Muslim
women, how things have changed
over time, how they view Western religion and culture, how 9/11 affected
them, and more.
Iqbal Masih and the Crusaders
against Child Slavery. By Susan
Kuklin. 1998. Holt, o.p. Gr. 6–12.
Sold into bondage, Iqbal Masih
worked in inhumane conditions until
escaping at the age of 10 and becoming
an advocate for other child laborers. At
the age of 12, he was shot and killed—
probably by opponents of his activism.
In acute detail, Kuklin’s book embeds
Iqbal’s life and work in the context of
global child-labor practices. For younger readers, try Jeanette Winter’s Malala,
a Brave Girl from Pakistan/Iqbal, a Brave
Boy from Pakistan (2014).
Malala Yousafzai and the Girls
of Pakistan. By David Aretha.
2014. Morgan Reynolds, $27.45
(9781599354545). Gr. 5–8.
While her name is now known
worldwide, Malala was once just a
Pakistani girl who wanted to go to
school. This evenhanded narrative
introduces Malala and her family and
explains the recent history of the region, alongside their story. Generous
inserts include profiles of Benazir
Bhutto and the Taliban. Malala’s
critics also get a voice—one explains
that the teen doesn’t see that the real
problem in Pakistan is poverty.
P Is for Pakistan. By Shazia
Razzak. Illus. by Prodeepta Das.
2007. Frances Lincoln, $17.95
(9781845074838). Gr. 2–4.
Photographs of life in Pakistan
bring this alphabet book to life. Most
of the letters of the alphabet represent
words in Urdu, the national language:
ghar is home, charpaye is a traditional
woven bed, and qawali is a musical
genre. Other letters represent English
words that describe national artifacts.
Urban and rural, modern and
traditional, and secular and
religious lifestyles are well
represented in this worthwhile classroom and library
T Is for Taj Mahal: An India
Alphabet. By Varsha Bajaj.
Illus. by Robert Crawford.
2011. Sleeping Bear, $17.95
(9781585365043). Gr. 4–6.
With an eye towards older
readers, this abecedary is less
about learning the alphabet and more about learning about India. Each letter
Related Common Core Standards
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL. 5. 1
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL. 2–5. 2
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL. 2–3. 3
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI. 3. 5
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL. 3–4. 7
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI. 7. 6
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI. 7. 8
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL. 4–5. 9
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL. 7. 1
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W. 3. 2
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH. 6-8. 7
• CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH. 6-8. 8.
Bhil artist Gangu Bai
explores the relationship
between trees and
humans in the eye-catching artwork of Tree
represents an important cultural
element, from geography to religion
to customs to architecture, providing
readers with information that goes
beyond some of the more recognizable tropes. Sidebars of information
are concise yet detailed, making the
book an engaging and useful social
Tree Matters. By Gita Wolf and oth-
ers. Illus. by Gangu Bai. 2015. Tara,
$17.50 (9789383145232). Gr. 3–5.
This unusual book features the artistry of an indigenous Bhil artist from
India, preserving in print the Bhil
people’s forest lifestyle before modernization. In a series of accounts accompanied by intricate artwork, this
documents the role of different types
of trees. The forest is home to important deities, and each type of tree
has significance in special occasions.
Creative teachers will find many ways
to put this—part informational text
and part folklore—to use.
Amina Chaudhri is an assistant professor
of teacher education at Northeastern
Illinois University, in Chicago.