The dream of education comes true for a girl from Zimbabwe.
Born in what was then Rhodesia, she’s given a Shona name meaning “listen to the word of the spirit.” She grows up working hard at her chores and tending cattle but yearns to attend school with her brother. He agrees to teach her in secret and does it “the Shona way, through song.” She is finally admitted to the local school even as war forces the men in the village to travel to work. They bring back transistor radios, however, and listening to the radio leads to a further dream—visiting other countries. The girl grows into a wife and mother and shares her thoughts with an American woman visiting the village, who encourages her path. But first, according to local belief, she must write down her dreams on a piece of paper and bury it, including one that will enrich her home. Trent relates her own story of great achievements in the third person, filling it with dialogue meant to inspire young readers with her love for learning and mission to provide educational opportunities for girls. Gilchrist’s soft-toned watercolor art provides a positive picture of a southern African village.
An inspirational look at one woman’s journey from ambition and vision to the reality of schooling and schools. (author’s note, afterword, color photographs) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)