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Pajama Press

The Library Bus
By (author): Bahram Rahman Illustrated by: Gabrielle Grimard
9781772781014 Hardcover, Reinforced binding, Printed dust jacket English Juvenile: Age (years) from 5 - 8, Grade (CAN) from K - 3, Grade (US) from K - 3 JUVENILE FICTION / Books & Libraries Nov 24, 2020
$21.95 CAD
Forthcoming 9 x 10 in | 1 gr 32 pages Full-colour illustrations throughout Pajama Press Inc. Pajama Press
It is still dark in Kabul, Afghanistan when the library bus rumbles out of the city. There are no bus seats—instead there are chairs and tables and shelves of books. And there are no passengers—instead there is Pari, who is nervously starting her first day as Mama’s library helper. Pari stands tall to hand out notebooks and pencils at the villages and the refugee camp, but she feels intimidated. The girls they visit are learning to write English from Mama. Pari can’t even read or write in Farsi yet. But next year she will go to school and learn all there is to know. And she is so lucky. Not long ago, Mama tells her, girls were not allowed to read at all.

Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during years of civil war and the restrictive Taliban regime. He wrote The Library Bus to tell new generations about the struggles of women who, like his own sister, were forbidden to learn. Brought to life by the pensive and captivating art of award-winning illustrator Gabrielle Grimard, The Library Bus is a celebration of literacy, ingenuity, and the strength of women and girls demanding a future for themselves.

  • Fictionalized story with historical grounding in the childhoods of the author and his mother in Afghanistan that is explained in an author’s note
  • Bahram Rahman’s mother was the first girl in her village to get an education; she became a teacher. When the Taliban took over in 1996, Bahram vividly remembers the day his mother had to hide her teacher’s uniform, and the day his sister had to burn her books when the family was turned out of their home. Bahram threw away his own books too, not understanding that he would have been allowed to keep them.
  • #OwnVoices story by an author who grew up in Afghanistan during the civil war and the Taliban’s regime
  • Curriculum links for social studies
  • A compelling day-in-the-life snapshot of a lifestyle unfamiliar to most North American readers
  • Celebration of literacy and the power of education
  • Award-winning illustrator of Stolen Words and Nutcracker Night
  • Classroom guide for educators forthcoming

Bahram Rahman was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. He earned a medical degree at Kabul Medical University and a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Erfurt, Germany, while also working as an activist in Afghanistan in the areas of gender equality and youth political participation. Bahram came to Canada as a refugee in 2012, and today he is a senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Health in Ontario. He wrote The Library Bus, his first picture book, to document the struggle for education experienced by the women in his own family and to draw attention to the barriers that still exist for millions of children, especially girls, living in war torn countries today.

Gabrielle Grimard transformed her love of design into a career in illustration over the course of her studies at Concordia University and the University of Quebec. In 2018, Gabrielle’s picture book Stolen Words won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Book Award. Not My Girl was a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her creativity has been applied to children’s publishing, advertising, and educational contexts.

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Praise for The Library Bus

“The girls’ individualized faces and emotions will establish a bond with children everywhere as Rahman celebrates the brave and resourceful Afghani women teachers from his childhood who found creative ways to educate girls.”—Booklist

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

“Bahram Rahman’s The Library Bus is inspired by growing up in Afghanistan and by the children he met during visits to orphanages and camps in Kabul....Gabrielle Grimard’s characteristically warm style and her animated representation of Pari and the other children beautifully brings to life the vitality and potential of the girls in the book.”—Quill & Quire

Also Available

Stolen Words Melanie Florence 9781772600377 $17.95 CAD Sep 05, 2017
Lila and the Crow Gabrielle Grimard 9781554518586 $21.95 CAD Oct 11, 2016
Not My Girl Christy Jordan-Fenton 9781554516254 $21.95 CAD Jan 09, 2014
Nutcracker Night Mireille Messier 9781772780918 $22.95 CAD Sep 27, 2019


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