One Girl

Abrams. Oct. 2020. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781419719059.
K-Gr 2–Beaty (Rosie Revere, Engineer and other popular STEAM-themed stories) tells a dreamy tale about female empowerment. An unnamed girl sits in front of her house in a dark setting, part of a village in the mountains. A book, bathed in bright light, falls out of the sky and lands at her feet. As the girl begins to read, the book lights a spark in her, and she steps out of the darkness and into a lighter and brighter setting. She encounters women of different races engaging in activities such as painting, stargazing, and public speaking. After the girl finishes the book, she heads to school, where she is shown writing her own story and then sharing it with other girls. The final illustration depicts bright lights flying across the globe meant to imply that books as sparks are flying all around, inspiring others to learn and grow. This story has sparse text and is told mainly through the illustrations, which were digitally created and feature kids of various skin colors and images of oversized pencils, books, stars, flowers, butterflies, and rockets. The author’s note states that millions of girls around the world are denied an education, and then provides links to organizations that focus on educating girls.
VERDICT The story may be abstract, but the positive message about the power of reading, and education for everyone, is of value. Recommended for larger collections.

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