Purchase to Support Our Program

“This is a touching and timely book that portrays the hardships many children in Afghanistan and other war-torn countries face. The author illustrates this beautifully and adds an informative and heartfelt “Author’s Note” that’ll leave a notable impression on young readers.”
Seattle Book Review, Starred Review

2022 ALA Schneider Family Book Award Honor Book Winner

2023 Indiana Young Hoosier Award Consideration List Selection

2021 The New York Times “What to Read: Four Children’s Books” Selection

2021 Kirkus Reviews “Best Books of 2021 Celebrating Community” Selection

2021 Foreword Reviews Book of The Day (Nov 3rd)

2021 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award Finalist

2021 Harvard Book Store “New This Week: Kids & Young Adult” Selection

2023 IBBY Canada “IBBY Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities” Short List

2021 Quill & Quire “2021 Best of Fall guide: Kids’ books” Selection

2022 49th Shelf Top Grade Winter List Selection

2021 49th Shelf “Books for Back to School” Selection

2022 49th Shelf “Books that Inspire Students to Overcome Adversity” Selection

2022 CCBC Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection

A Sky-Blue Bench

Written by Bahram Rahman
Illustrated by Peggy Collins
Published by Pajama Press Inc.

It’s Afghan 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.

Primary ISBN: 9781772782226
Available As: Hardcover
Blog/Memoir, Picture Book, Age 04 or older

Community Represented:

Themes: , , ,

Setting: Afghanistan

Character's Place in the Immigration Journey: In Home Country

Book Creator(s) Connection to the Community Represented: Own Voices/Lived Experience

Click here for details about how we define our titles.

Engagement Projects & Resources:

Share your favorite resources for this book with info@imyourneighborbooks.org.

Educator’s Guide

EXPLORE Teaching Guide