Sep 9, 2013

Razia's Ray of Hope

Razia's Ray of Hope (CAN, JP, US, INT)

Written by:  Elizabeth Suneby

Illustrated by: Suana Vereslt

Published by: Kids Can Press

Published on: September 1, 2013

Ages: 8+

Provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

The newest book in the innovative CitizenKid series from Kids Can Press deals with the topic of educating girls in war-ravaged Afghanistan.

Razia is fascinated by a new building in her village, that turns out to be a rare school for girls. Girls from villages all around are trekking their way to this place near her home, to register and pick up school uniforms. The school is free, provides appropriate uniforms, and has an excellent staff. But now, can Razia and the principal, also named Razia, convince her family that Razia should go too?

The artwork is a unique and fascinating mix of photographs of the school and area in Afghanistan, with illustrations of the villagers and their beautiful outfits. Verselst is able to capture an amazing gleam of hope in young Razia's eyes.

This is a great addition to any elementary social studies class, for comparing your school to one in Afghanistan. Different uniforms (or possibly the idea of uniforms at all), school that it is a struggle to get to or get permission to go to, sex-segregated schools, and even the school building could all spark an interesting discussion. For kids struggling to get back into the groove in a new school year, this beautiful book will provide a different perspective, and Razia's determination to teach herself to read will prove inspirational.

Like the other books in the CitizenKid series, there are lots of worthwhile extras, including lesson ideas. We love the endpapers which take on the design of Razia's stunning headscarf.

Find out more about the Foundation that brought education to young Razia's village: Razia's Ray of Hope Foundation.

 This post is for Nonfiction Monday, hosted this week by Wendie Old.


  1. What a wonderful idea to use this book to put going to school into a new perspective.

  2. Perfect addition for the Doucette Library. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  3. Perfect addition for the Doucette Library. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Apples with Many Seeds


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