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MILLOO'S MIND by Reem Faruqi Kirkus Star


The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women's Education

by Reem Faruqi ; illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2023
ISBN: 978-0-06-305661-9
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

The true story of Maryam Faruqi, an Indian woman who fought for girls’ education rights.

When Maryam—called Milloo—reads, her “thoughts dance…, her mind breathe[s], and her heart hum[s].” Shy Milloo doesn’t speak up in class, though—until the day her teacher doesn’t show up and she takes control of the class, awakening a desire to teach. Though in 1930s India, girls weren’t expected to pursue an education, she finishes not only school, but also college. Her teaching plans are dashed when her husband says she can’t work. But that doesn’t stop her—as she often says, “Enough is enough!” Milloo eventually moves to Karachi, Pakistan, and founds Happy Home Schools, helping thousands of girls to follow her example and obtain educations. This biographical picture book is elegantly told and splendidly illustrated. Powerful prose underscores Milloo’s determination and the importance of gender equity in education. Rose-ringed parakeets fly across the endpapers as a graduation robe flaps in the wind, and floral and faunal motifs can be found throughout. The detailed art invites readers to linger over each page, poring over collaged outfits and patterns, all of which evoke a strong sense of place. In an appended note, the author—Maryam Faruqi’s granddaughter—offers more information about Milloo’s life and work. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A stirring tale of grit and perseverance.

(glossary) (Picture-book biography. 5-8)