The International Day of the Girl: Celebrating Girls Around the World

Kids Can. (CitizenKid). Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781525300585.
Gr 3-5–International Day of the Girl, which spotlights issues faced by girls around the world, was established in October 2012 by the United Nations. This picture book introduces readers to this observance day and shares nine stories inspired by young visionaries. Though the challenges confronting girls can be incredibly grim, these stories are filled with hope. The text highlights issues such as lack of proper nutrition, child marriage, education opportunity inequalities, gender-based violence, and lack of access to technology. Each story focuses on one girl who was able to overcome obstacles and find solutions to help improve not only her own situation but the conditions of the girls in her community. Shin’s emotive illustrations provide a colorful, galvanizing backdrop for the empowering stories. The individual stories are engaging, but the writing may be too complex for younger readers to process. These stories could be shared as part of a lesson or program rather than as a complete read-aloud or individual reading experience. The book could be a starting point for classroom discussions around gender equality and the struggle of girls around the world. The balance of text to illustration doesn’t necessarily work as a picture book; the result is more like an informational text.
VERDICT Despite some shortcomings, this is a solid addition to the upper elementary nonfiction shelves or separate collections highlighting women’s studies or gender equality.

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