International Day of the Girl – Declared by the United Nations – October 11
Rosemary McCarney, with Jen Albaugh and Plan International, Authors
Second Story Press, Nonfiction, Oct. 11, 2014
Themes: Girls in developing countries, Poverty, Girls uniting to change the world, Social conditions, Educating Girls, Promoting girls’ rights
Suitable for Ages: 8 – 14
Book Synopsis: Meet some amazing girls! They are from all over the world and tell stories of their lives that are sometimes hard to imagine. In Because I am a Girl we hear of the barriers and dangers that they, and millions of girls like them face every day. Despite the hardships, they have great hope for the future. All are willing to do whatever they can to make their lives and those of their families and communities better. Read about: Lucy, an orphan in Zimbabwe, who struggles to find enough food for herself and her sister; Kathryn from South Sudan, who teaches the younger children in the refugee camp where she lives; Farwa, who was destined to become a child bride in Pakistan; and Fahmeeda, a Youth Ambassador from Canada, who works to protect the rights of women and children around the world.
Why I like this book: Rosemary McCarney with Jen Albaugh, has written a powerful, inspiring, and uplifting book for middle grade readers that belongs in every school library — in multiple copies! It is a wonderful resource for students and teachers. The layout of the book is done with thought and purpose. Readers are introduced to the stories of poverty-stricken girls who deal with barriers and hardship. Each story is followed by a “Did You Know” section, with facts and information about other girls around the globe facing similar problems and the critical need for education. In later sections the authors focus on hope and action. You feel strength and determination as the voices of the girls grow strong about what they can contribute. By the end of the book you see the girls uniting to form clubs to work on projects that will benefit their communities. These girls will become the future teachers, nurses, midwives, doctors, lawyers, business women and leaders. They will be the heart of their communities, bring growth and change, and turn the tide away from poverty and towards a more peaceful world. This book reminds me of what the Dalai Lama said at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009: “The western women will save the world and bring peace.” It will also be educated girls in small villages around the globe bringing change to their communities and unity to the world. Many photographers contributed to the bright and bold photographs that highlight each story. The book is beautifully packaged.
Rosemary McCarney is the author of a picture book Every Day is Malala Day. She is President and CEO of Plan International Canada, and spearheads the Because I am a Girl global initiative. She led the call for United Nations to declare October 11 the “International Day of the Girl” — a day each year to recognize and advocate for girls’ rights and end global poverty. Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Plan’s Because I am a Girl Fund. Plan International is one of the world’s largest international charities working in 50 developing countries, including the United States.
Jen Albaugh is a former elementary school teacher and librarian working as a freelance writer and editor in Toronto who is greatly inspired by the work of Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative.
*I was provided with a copy of “Because I am a Girl” in exchange for a fair and honest review.