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How One Boy Stood Up for Gender Equality

From the CitizenKid series

by Susan Hughes ; illustrated by Nicole Miles

Pub Date: June 1st, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5253-0249-7
Publisher: Kids Can

This true story shows how a boy in Malawi changed his family’s habits to improve gender equality.

Victor and Linesi are 8-year-old twins. Every morning, they say goodbye to Mama and race to the kachere tree, where they part ways. Victor, a boy, goes to school, but now Linesi, a girl, goes to the riverbed with a bucket to fetch water for the family, like the other women and older girls. At school, Victor enjoys English lessons from his funny teacher, and one day, Mr. Tambala talks about gender equality. The homework is to notice whether boys and girls are treated equally. After school, Victor notices that the girls do chores while the boys go to school, play games, and do homework. He decides to try to teach Linesi at night, but it doesn’t work. He talks to his family, and they agree to make a change: Victor and Linesi start taking turns going to school and fetching water. Soon, their friends make a similar change, and perhaps more changes will come to their village. This inspiring story is a thoughtful representation of a community on the brink of change. Victor shows how an individual’s actions can ripple out to change a culture and others’ lives. The joyful illustrations make clever use of full scenes and boxed vignettes to show activities, dreams, and choices within a visually monochromatic setting. The characters’ smiling faces defy stereotypes and offer hope. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A lovely story with many uses.

(author's note, resources, glossary) (Informational picture book. 4-10)