What would it be like, as a child, to watch soldiers drag your father away? What would it feel like when your mother finally goes searching for him -- and never comes back? "Nasreen never spoke a word. She never smiled. She just sat, waiting for her mama and papa to return."
Nasreen's grandmother eventually enrolled her in a secret school for girls. Even though women and girls were forbidden by the Taliban to venture out without a man to chaperone them, her grandmother managed to get her through the streets to the green gate, and Nasreen sat silently through the lessons. I won't give away the whole story, but my favorite part was when boys would divert any soldiers who came near the green gate.
This picture book has an author's note at the beginning for the adults. Afghanistan before the Taliban was a good place for women, who made up 70% of the teachers, 40% of doctors, and 50% of students at Kabul University. Nasreen's parents and grandmother were educated, and her grandmother wanted Nasreen to learn as well. I rate this children's book 8 of 10, a very good book.