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Dewey Diva Picks April - August

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Grandmother School
By (author): Rina Singh Illustrated by: Ellen Rooney
9781459819054 Hardcover, Picture book, Paper over boards English Juvenile: Age (years) from 6 - 8, Grade (CAN) from 1 - 3, Grade (US) from 1 - 3, Reading age from 6 - 8 JUVENILE FICTION / School & Education India May 05, 2020 Print Run: 6000
$19.95 CAD
Active 8.75 x 10.75 x 0.38 in | 460 gr 32 pages 32 Colour illustrations FSC certified – mixed sources C013314 Orca Book Publishers
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection 2020, Commended
It’s never too late to learn.

Every morning, a young girl walks her grandmother to the Aajibaichi Shala, the school that was built for the grandmothers in her village to have a place to learn to read and write. The narrator beams with pride as she drops her grandmother off with the other aajis to practice the alphabet and learn simple arithmetic. A moving story about family, women and the power of education—when Aaji learns to spell her name you’ll want to dance along with her.

Women in countless countries continue to endure the limitations of illiteracy. Unjust laws have suppressed the rights of girls and women and kept many from getting an education and equal standing in society. Based on a true story from the village of Phangane, India, this brilliantly illustrated book tells the story of the grandmothers who got to go to school for the first time in their lives.

Key Selling Points
  • Based on a true story from Phangane village in India’s Maharashtra state, where grandmothers attend the Aajibaichi Shala (school for grandmothers). For many of them, this has been their first time in a classroom.
  • Explores how important education is, especially for girls and women who have historically been left behind.
  • Ellen Rooney’s bright and vivid illustrations shine as this book moves through the effects that the opportunity for education has had on one grandmother.
  • The author dedicated this book to her own grandmother, who never had the chance to go to school.
  • This book encourages readers to think critically about why education has historically been withheld from women and about gender inequality overall, as well as to consider what basic human rights and needs are.

Rina Singh has published several critically acclaimed books for children inspired by her Indian Canadian heritage, including Diwali Lights, Holi Colors and Diwali: A Festival of Lights, which was nominated for the Red Cedar Award. Rina’s own grandmother never got the chance to go to school. Grandmother School is dedicated to her memory. Rina lives in Toronto with her family.

Ellen Rooney is a designer, artist and children’s book illustrator. Her textural mixed media artwork combines many traditional art techniques, like pencil drawing, painting, printmaking and collage, often combined with digital techniques. Originally from Massachusetts, she now lives in the southern Okanagan Valley in British Columbia.

 Marketing and Promotional Plans
  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
  • Blog and social media promotion
  • Outreach in Orca newsletters

“Offers its readers a poignantly lively picture book that expressly reveals the power and freedom found in words for women across the world. How great a treat it will be to read this book in a grandmother’s lap. Highly Recommended.” - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“A moving story about family, women and the power of education?when Aaji learns to spell her name you’ll want to dance along with her.” - Here Wee Read blog

“Joy is evident on the page—and infectious...A spirited book about gender, age, rights, and the importance of education.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Gorgeous…Colors are crisp and contemporary…Provides a surprising angle to the growing body of children’s books about gender inequality and the continued work of pioneers like Aaji.” - Booklist

"The connection between the little girl and the grandmother is the touching heart of this story." - Canadian Children's Book News

“A wonderful and poignant story about the need for literacy and how vital learning to read is.” - The Globe and Mail

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Also Available

Diwali Lights Rina Singh 9781459819085 $9.95 CAD Aug 28, 2018
Holi Colors Rina Singh 9781459818491 $9.95 CAD Feb 13, 2018
Diwali Rina Singh 9781459810075 $24.95 CAD Sep 27, 2016


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