Thank You, Kirkus!
Sorry to inundate my Fire Escape visitors with Rickshaw Girl reviews, but I can't help sharing this lovely one from Kirkus (December 1, 2006) :
Money is tight, and Naima wants to do something to help her family. If only she were a boy like her friend Saleem, she'd be able to drive her father's rickshaw and add to the family's income. Naima does have a special talent; she can paint beautiful alpacas-traditional patterns used by women to decorate Bangladeshi homes during special occasions-but how can this help her make money? When Naima decides to disguise herself as a boy and drive the rickshaw, she accidentally crashes it, and the family's debt soars even higher. Now Naima is more determined then ever to help her family-and prove that being a girl can be a good thing. Straightforward black-and-white pastel illustrations incorporate alpana patterns and depict various elements of Naima's daily life, and a helpful Bangla glossary and informative notes are included. A child-eye's view of Bangladesh that makes a strong and accessible statement about heritage, tradition and the changing role of women, Naima's story will be relished by students and teachers alike. (Fiction. 7-10)