AHorn Bookselection for "Picture Book Biographies for Women's History Month 2022”
Fatima had one wish . . .
Fatima al-Fihri loved to learn. She wanted to know everything, like how birds flew, why the sky was blue, and how flowers grew. But more than anything, she wanted a school for all, where anyone could study and become whatever they wanted, like teachers, scientists, and doctors.
As she grew older, Fatima carried her one wish inside her, through good times and bad. Fueled by her faith and her determination, she worked hard to make her one wish come true. For over a thousand years, Fatima’s one wish—her school—served students and scholars from around the globe, and it continues to do so today!
With lyrical text by M. O. Yuksel (author of In My Mosque) and stunning illustrations by Mariam Quraishi, this true-life portrait of an extraordinary Muslim woman shows the importance of never giving up on your dreams and how we all have the power to change the world for the better.
A 2023 BANK STREET BOOKS BEST CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR!
AN ALA 2023 RISE: A FEMINIST BOOK PROJECT SELECTION!
A SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL BEST NONFICTION BOOK OF 2022!
AN ORBIS PICTUS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NONFICTION FOR CHILDREN RECOMMENDED BOOK!
A 2023 NOTABLE SOCIAL STUDIES BOOK!
"This is a well-crafted picture book biography, especially given that so little is known of al-Fihri’s early years. The focus on her legacy, as well as the back matter with time lines and translations, is a strong pull for readers. Who could not love a book about a girl whose first spoken word was “read”? Add this biography to any collection looking to be well rounded when it comes to women’s history."—School Library Journal, starred review
“An inspiring profile of a tenacious trailblazer that highlights the power of knowledge. Quraishi’s transporting gouache-and-watercolor illustrations furnish a nuanced portrayal of the early medieval Arab world.” —Kirkus
"Advocating for persistence and education, this picture book adroitly demonstrates how al-Fihri’s Muslim faith inspired her community care." —Publishers Weekly
"In a text rich with imagery, Yuksel (In My Mosque) tells the true story of Fatima al-Fihri, whose one wish was to build a school for all. The illustrations develop their own visual language. A welcome story that emphasizes the intellectual foundations of Islamic North Africa and the importance of charitable work that plants seeds for subsequent generations." —Horn Book