Please welcome author Farhana Zia with her list of irrepressible and inspirational young characters who tackle life’s challenges. We are giving away a copy of her latest book, Child of Spring. Please use the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.
The chapter books I selected are about irrepressible and inspirational young characters who are unafraid to take on life’s challenge with grit and grace. Each one, with her particular story and particular example of courage teaches us that in order to reach the other side of the dark tunnel, one must walk the path with courage, hope and optimism.
Inspirational Diversity Characters in Children’s Books
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
Stories about war are hard to stomach; stories about innocent children caught in the cross fire, even harder. And yet, in this authentic telling of war and despair, the thread that emerges most victoriously is the story of a child’s iron courage and to make a go of life, despite unthinkable odds. [chapter book, ages 10-14]
One Half from the East by Nadia Hasimi
A poignant story of a young girl trapped by a tradition that has her straddling illusion and reality. It gives the reader some insight into the practice of baccha posh and makes for an interesting dialogue about gender role and expectations in different societies. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins
This is a heartwarming story of a young girl who applies her resourcefulness and talent to beat down societal norms and achieve her goals. [chapter book, ages 7-10]
Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy
Inspired by true events in a post-Taliban Afghanistan during the reconstruction years the book offers an unbiased view of a slice of life in a country ravaged by war and beset by hard and fast traditions. It is an uplifting story of a courageous young girl who finds empowerment in the midst of daunting odds. [chapter book, ages 10-14]
The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
The Lightning Queen offers a glimpse of the encounter between two fascinating but marginalized cultures—the Rom and the Mixtec Indians—while telling the heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that spans generations. One cannot help but fall in love with irrepressible Esma, so fearless, so vivacious, so brimming with hope and promise. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth
As much as one is disturbed by the harsh circumstances of young Gopal’s life, one cannot help but be uplifted by this youngster’s courage and indefatigable determination in the face of harrowing odds. The book provides for interesting discussions in the classroom about weighty topics such as poverty and child labor in third world countries. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
Red Thread Sisters by Carol Antoinette Peacock
A compelling story about loyalty, tenacity, and family—a sensitive insider view of adoption and a touching portrayal of the emotional and psychological aspects of the human drama that are bound to play themselves out. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
Child of Spring by Farhana Zia
A light hearted rendering of thought provoking issues; set against a backdrop of urban India in the mid 1900’s, this upbeat and lively story of an upbeat and lively girl, offers the reader a glimpse into the lives of the haves and the have nots and provides opportunities for conversations about child labor. [chapter book, ages 8-12]
Child of Spring GIVEAWAY!
Please fill out Rafflecopter to enter to a win a copy of Child of Spring. We can only ship to U.S. addresses due to the high cost of shipping.
Farhana Zia grew up in Hyderabad, India, near the area where Child of Spring is set. She is an elementary school teacher and the author of picture books and novels, including The Garden of My Imaan. Her stories blend humor and tradition, memories and contemporary moments. She lives in Massachusetts. To learn more, visit her website.
To find more diverse and multicultural books for children, please check out our Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents. We also have Pinterest board full of ideas:
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John Smith says
My favorite diversity character is also a really person–Malala, who stood up for education rights.