cover image One Girl

One Girl

Andrea Beaty, illus. by Dow Phumiruk. Abrams, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1905-9

A girl sits on a porch at night, looking pensive and sad. Suddenly, like a shooting star falling to earth, a glowing book lands at her feet. “One Girl./ One spark,” writes Beaty (the Questioneers series), as Phumiruk’s (Counting on Katherine) softly radiant digital and pencil art show just how powerful writing’s spark can be. As vines grow from the book’s center, the girl wanders through a new world where books grow on trees, a space shuttle zooms overhead carrying more volumes, and signs of female empowerment abound: a woman artist sits at an easel, another gives a speech from a podium made entirely of books. The girl attends school, begins to write a story of her own, and inspires her classmates to do the same; together, they create a cluster that shoots through the sky to reach other children, including, as the book closes, another lone girl sitting on her porch in the night. Skirting sentimentality by fully respecting the curiosity of its young protagonist, this poetic tribute to story focuses on the power of a potential unleashed. An author’s note discusses the importance of educating girls worldwide. Ages 5–7. [em]Author’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Deborah Warren, East/West Literary. (Oct.) [/em]