Yasmin's Hammer

By Dorothy Hall-Riddle, Freeport Middle School

This story as sweet and beautiful as the illustrations, is also heartbreaking yet hopeful. Yasmin and her family move to the capital in search of better jobs after a terrible cyclone destroys their home. Everyone including Yasmin and her sister, must work hard to scrape by and going to school is out of the question. When she works extra hard at her brick-chipping job just to buy a book, Yasmin’s obvious determination to learn to read convinces her parents, both illiterate themselves, to send the girls to school, even if it means taking in more work and sacrificing even more. The color illustrations richly convey the warmth of Bangladesh and her people. The writing is spare enough to keep the story short yet richly detailed in a way that conveys a lot of information. A good choice for a multi-cultural lesson or a study on child labor.