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Reviewed by Amy Raines for Readers' Favorite
Zebi’s Dream is written by Farida Mirza and illustrated by Bastian Matiz. Zebi, a homeless girl who helped her mother panhandle for enough money to buy food, wanted nothing more than to learn to read and write. She stared at the school that was close to the traffic lights, dreaming of attending school someday. While working at the traffic lights, Zebi meets a little girl her age named Hina with whom she forms a bond. Hina gives Zebi a book to read but becomes worried when Zebi and her family disappear. Hina cries to her mother, explaining the disappearance of the little girl she had befriended. Hina and her mother begin searching the town’s other traffic lights to see if maybe Zebi had moved to panhandle somewhere else. Will Hina and her mother find Zebi and her family? Where did they go? Will Zebi learn to read and go to school like she dreams?
Zebi’s Dream by Farida Mirza is an inspiring story that takes the young reader through the struggles of a young homeless girl who has no choice but to panhandle to feed her family instead of going to school. I love the way Farida Mirza shows how a very important relationship can begin with just a smile and a caring gesture. The author clearly points out that being homeless is a very difficult way of living and that sometimes all it takes is a helping hand to change someone’s life for the better. The illustrations by Bastian Matiz display the story in pictures that easily tell the tale as effectively as the words do. I recommend this story to anyone who likes to read in general. Zebi’s Dream is a heartbreaking yet heartwarming story that any reader will love.