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Children's Fiction Special Needs

A Sky-Blue Bench

by (author) Bahram Rahman & Peggy Collins

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
Special Needs, Diversity & Multicultural, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, School & Education
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3


It's Afghani schoolgirl Aria's first day back at school since her accident. She's excited, but she's also worried about sitting on the hard floor all day with her new prosthetic "helper-leg."

Just as Aria feared, sitting on the floor is so uncomfortable that she can't think about learning at all. She knows that before the war changed many things in Afghanistan, schools like hers had benches for students to sit at. If she had a bench, her leg would not hurt so much. The answer is obvious: she will gather materials, talk to Kaka Najar, the carpenter in the old city, and learn to build a bench for herself.

In A Sky-Blue Bench, Bahram Rahman, author of The Library Bus, returns again to the setting of his homeland, Afghanistan, to reveal the resilience and resolve of young children—especially young girls—who face barriers to education. Illustrator Peggy Collins imbues Aria with an infectious spunkiness and grit that make her relatable even to readers with a very different school experience. An author's note gently introduces an age-appropriate discussion of landmines and their impact on the lives of children in many nations, especially Afghanistan, which has the highest concentration of landmines of any country in the world.


About the authors


BAHRAM RAHMAN est né à Kaboul, en Afghanistan, et a grandi pendant la guerre civile et le régime taliban. C’est pour décrire les difficultés rencontrées par les femmes de sa famille à recevoir une éducation qu’il a écrit Le bibliobus. Il a voulu mettre en lumière les barrières à l’éducation qui existent encore aujourd’hui pour des millions d’enfants, en particulier des filles, qui vivent dans des pays déchirés par la guerre.


BAHRAM RAHMAN was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and grew up during the civil war and the Taliban regime. He wrote Le bibliobus, his first picture book, to document the struggle for education experienced by the women in his own family and to draw attention to the barriers that still exist for millions of children, especially girls, living in war-torn countries today.


Bahram Rahman's profile page

Peggy Collins is a graphic designer and an award-winning children’s book author-illustrator with more than 35 titles to her name, including Harley the Hero, Hungry for Math: Poems to Munch On, In the Snow, and In the Garden. Peggy teaches animation at Loyalist College as well as illustration and drawing at St. Lawrence College. She has also written and illustrated for animated apps teaching math, indigenous history, and education. Peggy lives in Newburgh, Ontario with her two children.


Peggy Collins' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for A Sky-Blue Bench

“[A] heartwarming story about a resilient young girl who faces a barrier to her education.”—Quill & Quire


Other titles by Bahram Rahman

Other titles by Peggy Collins

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