English / Canada

Razia’s ray of hope.
One girl’s dream of an education

Suneby, Elizabeth (text)
Verelst, Suana (illus.)
Toronto [et al.]: Kids Can Press, 2013. – [32] p.
(Series: CitizenKid)
ISBN 978-1-55453-816-4

Afghanistan | Girl | Education | School

≫Razia’s Ray of Hope≪ is both the title of this moving picture book and the name of a foundation started by Afghan-American Razia Jan in 2007 to improve the lives of women and children in Afghanistan through education.

In American writer Elizabeth Suneby’s fictionalised story of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls near Kabul, a young girl called Razia dreams of becoming a teacher and thus is ecstatic when she learns that a girls’ school is being built in her village. Although her grandfather and mother are on her side, it takes a lot of persuading until her father and older brother Aziz finally allow her to attend school. Suana Verelst’s eclectic digital collages created from photographs, traditional fabric, and pencil illustrations, among other things, off er glimpses of village life in Afghanistan and of an intelligent girl determined to get an education.

An appendix at the back provides a glossary of Dari words and some background information about the power of education. (Age: 5+)