Author Bahram Rahman grew up in Afghanistan during years of civil war and the restrictive Taliban regime. He wrote The Library Bus to tell new generations about the struggles of women who, like his own sister, were forbidden to learn.
It is still dark in Kabul, Afghanistan when the library bus rumbles out of the city. There are no bus seats--instead there are chairs and tables and shelves of books. And there are no passengers--instead there is Pari, who is nervously starting her first day as Mama's library helper. Pari stands tall to hand out notebooks and pencils at the villages and the refugee camp, but she feels intimidated. The girls they visit are learning to write English from Mama. Pari can't even read or write in Farsi yet. But next year she will go to school and learn all there is to know. And she is so lucky. Not long ago, Mama tells her, girls were not allowed to read at all.
Brought to life by the pensive and captivating art of award-winning illustrator Gabrielle Grimard, The Library Bus is a celebration of literacy, ingenuity, and the strength of women and girls demanding a future for themselves.
About the Author
Bahram Rahman was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. He earned a medical degree at Kabul Medical University and a master's degree in public policy at the University of Erfurt, Germany, while also working as an activist in Afghanistan in the areas of gender equality and youth political participation. Bahram came to Canada as a refugee in 2012, and today he is a senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Health in Ontario. His first picture book, the New York Times-reviewed The Library Bus, documents the barriers to education experienced by girls in war-torn countries and their resilience and ingenuity in overcoming them.
Gabrielle Grimard transformed her love of design into a career in illustration over the course of her studies at Concordia University and the University of Quebec. In 2018, Gabrielle's picture book Stolen Words won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children's Book Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children's Book Award. Not My Girl was a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her creativity has been applied to children's publishing, advertising, and educational contexts.