This compelling, timely, and empowering picture book introduces children to Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a Pakistani girl who braved threats from the Taliban in order to play the sport she loved. “Malik’s artwork is extraordinary, with each page displaying brilliant colors and poster-worthy images that contribute to the narrative’s overall messages of female empowerment and triumph against impossible odds. . . . this book has something for every reader.” —Booklist Meet Maria Toorpakai Wazir, a Pakistani girl who loved sports and longed for the freedom that boys in her culture enjoyed. She joined a squash club to pursue her dream, and was taunted, teased, and beaten—but still continued playing. Then, when Maria received an award from the President of Pakistan for outstanding achievement, the Taliban threatened her squash club, her family, and her life. Although forced to quit the team, she refused to give up. Maria kept practicing the game in her bedroom every day for three years! Her hard work and perseverance in the face of overwhelming obstacles will inspire all children.
About the Author
Michelle Lord is the author of A Song for Cambodia and Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin, as well as numerous science books. She first heard Maria’s story on NPR and knew she had to share it with children. Michelle lives in New Braunfels, TX, with her family. Shehzil Malik is a designer and illustrator who is a Fulbright scholar with an MFA in Visual Communication Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is also part of the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN). Shezil has taught at Beaconhouse National University, worked as art director at Ogilvy & Mather, been part of the Arcade Creative Group at Sony Music in New York City, and served as the art director of a socially conscious startup, Uth Oye!, in Lahore.