When we go back to school after Christmas, my World Litrature students will be reading The Kite Runner. Since most of the book is set in Afghanistan, I'm always interested in reading books about that country. I saw this one in Walmart and when I got home, I downloaded it.
Elsa Murphy grew up in a poor section of Boston helping her mother take care of her drug-addict sister's special-needs child. She didn't have much but she did have lipstick that would make her feel pretty and empowered. One day at the library she reads a magazine article about the starving children in Rwanda and she vows that one day she'll find a way to help them or others in need.
Once she becomes a nurse and both her mom and niece are dead, she travels to Afghanistan to begin a year of working in a Bamiyan clinic. There she sees first hand what conditions are like under the Taliban. I found it horrifying but interesting that people really think that way and treat women so poorly.
I couldn't put this book down and will have plenty of extra info to share with my students next month.