Venkat, Srividhya

Srividhya Venkat has published several picture books, including DANCING IN THATHA’S FOOTSTEPS (winner of the 2022 South Asia Book Award) and THE CLEVER TAILOR (a 2020 South Asia Book Award Highly Commended Book). Having grown up in India and lived across three countries, Srividhya loves stories that are unique, yet universal. When not reading or writing, she loves to listen to music, tinker with new recipes and explore the world outside her window. She now resides in the Chicago area with her family.

Razia’s Ray of Hope One Girl’s Dream of an Education

Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small village in Afghanistan, girls haven’t been allowed to attend school for many years. When a new girls’ school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family and their community. Based on the true stories of the students of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls just outside of Kabul. (Grades 3-8).

Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War

Deborah Ellis went to Kabul to find out what happened to Afghanistan’s children since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. She interviewed children who spoke about their lives. They are still living in a country torn apart by war, violence and oppression still exist, particularly affecting the lives of girls, but the kids are weathering their lives with courage and optimism. (Grades 5 – 12)

A Moment Comes

Before India was divided, three teens, each from wildly different backgrounds, cross paths. And then, in one moment, their futures become irrevocably intertwined. Tariq, Anupreet, Margaret are as different as their Muslim, Sikh, and British names. But in that one moment, their futures become entirely dependent on one another. (Grades 8 and up)

Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank

Twenty-Two Cents smartly chronicles the life and inspiration behind Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus, and the internationally transformative Grameen Bank’s micro-lending system. Coupled with rich illustrations that vibrantly capture the essence and depth of Yunus’ experiences, this poignant picture book easily lends itself to readers of all ages. Includes an afterword and author’s source notes. (Grades 2-5)

Dear Mrs. Naidu

When twelve-year-old Sarojini is forced to begin the school year without her best friend, Amir, who begins attending a higher class school outside of their neighborhood, she becomes wholly conflicted about her own social standing. Fortuitously, Sarojini’s spirited new teacher assigns her to write letters to someone she would like to know, and as Sarojini channels her thoughts as correspondence with her deceased, freedom-fighter namesake, Sarojini Naidu, she awakens her own sense of activism, communal relationships, familial bonds, and confirmed friendships, both old and new. (Grades 6 and up).