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THE LIBRARY BUS by Bahram Rahman


by Bahram Rahman ; illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-77278-101-4
Publisher: Pajama Press

It’s dark in Kabul when young Pari and her mother start up the library bus to visit a small village.

It’s Pari’s first day as Mama’s library helper, and she is excited to be on the only “library bus in all of Kabul.” Girls await the bus, eager to return the books they borrowed from the previous week and to browse for new ones. Then Pari’s mom gathers the girls in a circle to practice English. Afterward, the bus heads along to a refugee camp, and on the way Pari learns that her grandpa taught Mama how to read at a time when girls were not allowed to go to school. She is starting school next year, and her mom encourages her to “study hard [and] never stop learning. Then you will be free.” At the camp, Pari helps pass out notebooks and pencils, and Mama checks out books to the girls. Later, at home, Mama assures Pari that she will help the girls in the village the same way Grandpa helped her. Grimard’s illustrations pair well with Rahman’s words, from the sun rising over the mountains in the morning against an atmospheric sky to the dusty camp area with tents labeled UNHCR. Pari, her mom, and many girls cover their hair. In the backmatter, the author, an Afghan refugee himself now living in Canada, offers a personal message, which is accompanied by a brief note about refugee camps.

An inspiring story that conveys the power of education—paying it forward and meeting avid readers where they are.

(Picture book. 4-8)