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The Library Bus

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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, b 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 intimidates. 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 that is a wonderful thing. Not long ago, Mama tells her, girls were not allowed to read at all.


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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, b 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 intimidates. 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 that is a wonderful thing. Not long ago, Mama tells her, girls were not allowed to read at all.

30 review for The Library Bus

  1. 4 out of 5

    Abby Johnson

    This inspiring, realistic picture book gives a glimpse into the efforts of female educators to provide knowledge to young girls in Afghanistan. Hand this to young library lovers who want to see what schools and libraries are like in other parts of the world.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    I grew up in a small town without a library and was a happy child when the bookmobile came with so many new books. I did own some, but could not possibly have owned all that I read during my elementary years. We moved to a city when I was in middle school where there was a marvelous library, yet I still missed my bookmobile. I imagine I could have made do unlike the children shown in this wonderful story of Afghanistan by Bahram Rahman who grew up there. He now lives in Canada, has written a st I grew up in a small town without a library and was a happy child when the bookmobile came with so many new books. I did own some, but could not possibly have owned all that I read during my elementary years. We moved to a city when I was in middle school where there was a marvelous library, yet I still missed my bookmobile. I imagine I could have made do unlike the children shown in this wonderful story of Afghanistan by Bahram Rahman who grew up there. He now lives in Canada, has written a story from his first country, letting young girl Pari go with her mother to help as they journey on Kabul's first library bus. They visit remote villages and one refugee camp in the story, yet I imagine the bus goes to many other places day by day. When they stop, girls come to exchange books read with new ones. And Mama gives a brief English lesson. Many layers inform this story as shown in the quiet and beautiful illustrations with a desert background and happy girls so excited that the "library bus" has arrived. There is a brief passage about refugee camps and an author's note at the back. It will be a good introduction to life in another land for young readers or a companion book with others who tell of the world of getting books to those who have no other way to get them. Note: Only girls are shown in the illustrations that appear to demonstrate that in the past, they were forbidden to learn to read and write and this book celebrates their new-found freedom. You can find online articles about this special bus if you search.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Brehl

    This is an up-close and inspiring story of one Afghanistan family's effort to expand literacy, especially for girls. The language and images are lovely and uplifting, while exploring aspects of hardship and struggles. The commitment and engagement of both the mother and daughter who bring library and instruction services are remarkable. This is an up-close and inspiring story of one Afghanistan family's effort to expand literacy, especially for girls. The language and images are lovely and uplifting, while exploring aspects of hardship and struggles. The commitment and engagement of both the mother and daughter who bring library and instruction services are remarkable.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chrisanne

    This one was fascinating. Particularly the illustrations.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I'm always looking for books about unique libraries or book delivery, and this one will be a good addition to that particular collection while highlighting individual heroism. Watercolor and digital illustrations filled with light and movement complement this inspiring story of one woman taking action to make a difference in the world while also serving as a good example for her daughter. Told from the perspective of Pari, a young girl in Afghanistan, the picture book follows Pari and her mother I'm always looking for books about unique libraries or book delivery, and this one will be a good addition to that particular collection while highlighting individual heroism. Watercolor and digital illustrations filled with light and movement complement this inspiring story of one woman taking action to make a difference in the world while also serving as a good example for her daughter. Told from the perspective of Pari, a young girl in Afghanistan, the picture book follows Pari and her mother as they travel in a moveable library from Kabul to various small communities outside the city, including a refugee camp. The narrative makes it clear that Pari is excited about her first day accompanying her mother on her rounds but also a tiny bit nervous. But it quickly becomes clear that Pari's mother isn't just bringing books to various customers. She's also teaching some of the girls to read English and that her own father taught her how to read. Pari is eager to learn her ABCs too, something her mother assures her will happen when she attends school next year. But for the other girls they've met on their journey, the library bus is their lifeline to literacy, education, and a brighter future. All of the images are impressive, but the most impactful one for me shows Pari's mother as she drives the bus confidently, her hands firmly on the wheel so the vehicle stays on the road, just as she herself is in control of her own destiny, partly because of her father's foresight in making sure that she could read when girls were not allowed to do so. A brief note on refugee camps and some notes from the author about the inspiration for this story are necessary reading to appreciate the story even more.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luciana

    A fascinating book about a young child, Pari, who helps her mom bring books & school supplies in the library bus to villages or camps near & far in Afghanistan. The girls they visit get to have a quick lesson with learning the alphabet, they get to borrow books, they may get school supplies, etc., as they are unable to go to a real school because there are no schools in the village or camps for them. Pari's mom tells Pari that education is important & that her father taught her in the basement of A fascinating book about a young child, Pari, who helps her mom bring books & school supplies in the library bus to villages or camps near & far in Afghanistan. The girls they visit get to have a quick lesson with learning the alphabet, they get to borrow books, they may get school supplies, etc., as they are unable to go to a real school because there are no schools in the village or camps for them. Pari's mom tells Pari that education is important & that her father taught her in the basement of their home even when education for girls was not allowed. There is a great author's note at the end of the book, too.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jared White

    I love the concept of Bookmobiles and that they help put books and resources into the hands of those who would otherwise not have access. This is a story which celebrates a Bookmobile in Afghanistan and the brave woman who runs it. It shows the excitement and enthusiasm of the girls who utilize the resources offered on this bus and it hints at the challenges faced by the girls who want to learn to read in Afghanistan, how it was worse in the past and is getting a bit better. The illustrations are I love the concept of Bookmobiles and that they help put books and resources into the hands of those who would otherwise not have access. This is a story which celebrates a Bookmobile in Afghanistan and the brave woman who runs it. It shows the excitement and enthusiasm of the girls who utilize the resources offered on this bus and it hints at the challenges faced by the girls who want to learn to read in Afghanistan, how it was worse in the past and is getting a bit better. The illustrations are beautiful and the narrative is engaging, the story is told through the daughter of the Bookmobile's driver as she assists her mother for the first time.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Alissa Tsaparikos

    This is a beautifully illustrated story about a little girl and her mother who drive a library bus to villages and refugee camps in Kabul, Afghanistan. This is a wonderful story that shows hope in the love of learning and how people share this hope and live, even in hard circumstances. I like that this is a joyful story - setting it apart from the many sad stories about refugees and Afghanistan. Well worth reading with children to let them experience a different way of life and introduce them to This is a beautifully illustrated story about a little girl and her mother who drive a library bus to villages and refugee camps in Kabul, Afghanistan. This is a wonderful story that shows hope in the love of learning and how people share this hope and live, even in hard circumstances. I like that this is a joyful story - setting it apart from the many sad stories about refugees and Afghanistan. Well worth reading with children to let them experience a different way of life and introduce them to cultures that are often demonized in the media.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ron Turner

    It's sad. The West, led by America, have occupied Afghanistan for twenty years. Thousands of soldiers killed and wounded. Over a million residents killed and displaced. All for nothing. We're leaving and turning the country back over to the Taliban. The driver of the library bus will be gang raped and murdered. The children she served sold into sexual slavery. Afghanistan will once again descend back into religious extremism and ignorance. The world should be horrified by this but it's 2020, jus It's sad. The West, led by America, have occupied Afghanistan for twenty years. Thousands of soldiers killed and wounded. Over a million residents killed and displaced. All for nothing. We're leaving and turning the country back over to the Taliban. The driver of the library bus will be gang raped and murdered. The children she served sold into sexual slavery. Afghanistan will once again descend back into religious extremism and ignorance. The world should be horrified by this but it's 2020, just one more thing added to the list of things that have gone wrong.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Working on bookmobiles, I always read every bookmobile book that I can't find. This one is very touching, it tells the story of a Farsi (Afganistan) girl that goes with her mom to help her on the book bus. They go to a refugee camp and a rural location. They lend books and give out writing materials and practice their ABC's in English. It's really well done, text and illustrations. It highlights the importance of education for girls. Education equals freedom. Working on bookmobiles, I always read every bookmobile book that I can't find. This one is very touching, it tells the story of a Farsi (Afganistan) girl that goes with her mom to help her on the book bus. They go to a refugee camp and a rural location. They lend books and give out writing materials and practice their ABC's in English. It's really well done, text and illustrations. It highlights the importance of education for girls. Education equals freedom.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ellon

    I mean, it's a book about a library, so I was pretty sold on it before I even began reading. But it's a beautiful story about a young girl and her mother bringing books and education to girls who do not have many opportunities to learn. It would be great paired with Malala's Magic Pencil. I mean, it's a book about a library, so I was pretty sold on it before I even began reading. But it's a beautiful story about a young girl and her mother bringing books and education to girls who do not have many opportunities to learn. It would be great paired with Malala's Magic Pencil.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    The Library Bus is a beautiful snapshot of the courageous spirit and endurance of the children (mostly women) to learn and experience the beauty of books. And the people (again, mostly women) that make it happen. The illustrations are beautiful and the specific cultural touches make great topics to discuss with children. There are also scenes involving refugee camps and a brief discussion of them in the back of the book which can also make a great topic while you read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is a very touching introduction to women all over the world who are fighting every day in their own unique ways to help educate all girls and give them the right to learn. I loved the story of a little girl joining her mom in her library bus route to take books to girls in the most remote places and to help them learn. The illustrations are beautiful!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Beautiful illustrations celebrating the efforts to educate young girls in Afghanistan through a library bus. The ways in which the illustrations depict the girls’ excitement and desire to learn is inspiring. Oh to be a part of the mission behind the library bus!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary Evers

    The librarian in me absolutely adored this book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jamila

    Great story, well written and illustrations. However, I wish there was more background context about the mother.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Sands

    Beautiful illustrations. Really good book about girls trying to learn to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    As a bookmobile driver, I can't help but love this one! As a bookmobile driver, I can't help but love this one!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Verna Seal

    Such a great story! 🤗

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sue Mosher

    This simple story opens a window into another world for younger children. Fro those who are ready for more information, the back page supplies that. And beautiful art as well!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    A young girl goes with her mother in the library books to bring books and basic education to girls in a remote village and a refugee camp.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shonna Froebel

    https://cdnbookworm.blogspot.com/2020... https://cdnbookworm.blogspot.com/2020...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lorryn Woodward

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lori Lewis

  26. 5 out of 5

    Hailey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

  28. 5 out of 5

    Biblio

  29. 4 out of 5

    OTIS

  30. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

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