The Library Bus book cover

The Library Bus

Inspired by Kabul, Afghanistan’s first library bus and coloured by family memories, a touching snapshot of one innovative way girls received education in a country disrupted by war. It is still dark in Kabul, Afghanistan when the library bus rumbles out of the city. There are no bus seats—instead there are chairs and tables and shelves of books. And there are no passengers—instead there is Pari, who is nervously starting her first day as Mama’s library helper. Pari stands tall to hand out notebooks and pencils at the villages and the refugee camp, but she feels intimidated. The girls they visit are learning to write English from Mama. Pari can’t even read or write in Farsi yet. But next year she will go to school and learn all there is to know. And she is so lucky. Not long ago, Mama tells her, girls were not allowed to read at all.

Ideal for:
International Day of Peace Sept. 21, Human Rights Day Dec. 10, International Day of Education Jan. 24, International Women's Day and United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace March 8, World Refugee Day June 20, Canadian Multiculturalism Day June 27.

Promenade des contes: Le bibliobus

Order now for September delivery.

The Library Bus. Text © 2020 Bahram Rahman. Illustrations © 2021 Gabrielle Grimard. Reproduced by permission of Pajama Press, Toronto.

An inspiring story that conveys the power of education—paying it forward and meeting avid readers where they are.

Kirkus Reviews

Book Creators

Bahram Rahman

Bahram Rahman portrait

Bahram Rahmans born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. He earned a medical degree at Kabul Medical University and a master’s degree in public policy at the University of Erfurt, Germany, while also working as an activist in Afghanistan in the areas of gender equality and youth political participation. Bahram came to Canada as a refugee in 2012, and today he is a senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Health in Ontario. His first picture book, Governor General’s Literary Award finalist, the Library Bus, was praised by the New York Times for documenting the barriers to education experienced by girls in war-torn countries and their resilience and ingenuity in overcoming them.

Gabrielle Grimard

Gabrielle Grimard portrait

Gabrielle Grimard was born in 1975 in Montreal. Much to the dismay of her teachers in the early grades, Gabrielle was constantly drawing in class. For her, drawing was a way of keeping her concentration focused. Otherwise, she would spend all her time daydreaming. Gabrielle studied art, first in high school, then at Concordia, and finally at l’Université du Québec à Montréal (l’UQAM). Although Gabrielle took on many art projects after graduating, she did not start illustrating picture books until after the birth of her son. Her artwork appears in over 25 children’s books.