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Children's Nonfiction Girls & Women

International Day of the Girl, The

Celebrating Girls Around the World

by (author) Jessica Dee Humphreys & Rona Ambrose

illustrated by Simone Shin

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2020
Girls & Women, General, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Recommended Age
7 to 10
Recommended Grade
2 to 5
Recommended Reading age
7 to 10
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2020
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Student Activity

Where to buy it


This introduction to the International Day of the Girl and its worldwide significance encourages children to recognize their own potential to make change, providing both a perfect lesson in social justice and a celebration of girl power.

The United Nations designated October 11th as the International Day of the Girl, a day to increase awareness of problems that affect girls --- and only girls --- around the world and to encourage progress toward gender equality. Nine stories inspired by the real-life experiences of girls from all over the globe bring to light the importance of this day. Each story is set in a different country and sensitively describes an inequity faced by a character and how she addressed it. The challenges include gender-based violence, illiteracy, lack of access to technology, sanitation, nutritional disparity and child marriage. Each story features a positive description of the main character --- strong, smart, creative, inventive, brave, talented, caring, funny, ambitious --- and each concludes with a realistic yet hopeful outcome, presenting the girls as more than victims of their circumstances. Their powerful, and empowering, experiences will stir the activist in every child.

Jessica Dee Humphreys's well-researched and illuminating stories are both readable and age appropriate. Award-winning Simone Shin's simple, warm illustrations bring the characters and their circumstances to life. Sidebars expand on the issues covered in each story. This book is a perfect choice for social justice discussions, as well as for social studies lessons on global communities, and for character education conversations on citizenship. It includes a foreword by the Honorable Rona Ambrose, who led Canada's call for the day to be formally adopted by the United Nations. Also included are an annotated time line of the day's creation and additional statistical information. A portion of the proceeds will go to Plan International Canada.

About the authors

Jessica Dee Humphreys has worked with several girls' rights organizations, including Save the Children and the United Nations Development Fund for Women. She is the co-author of a number of bestselling books, including Roméo Dallaire's Waiting for First Light and They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children. Jessica is also the co-author of the award-winning CitizenKid graphic novel Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War, with Michel Chikwanine. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Jessica Dee Humphreys' profile page

The Honourable Rona Ambrose is the former leader of Canada's Official Opposition in the House of Commons and the former leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. A champion for the rights of women and girls, Rona led the global movement to create the “International Day of the Girl” at the United Nations. Throughout her distinguished career, Rona has received many meaningful awards for her advocacy and public policy. She now lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Rona Ambrose's profile page

Simone Shin is an award-winning illustrator and a graduate of Boston University and the Art Center College of Design. She began working as a freelancer illustrating for magazines and newspapers, and teaching children in the arts, eventually venturing into children's book illustration. Her inspiration comes from her highly active preschool-aged son, as well as her strong interests in music, nature and family history. In her spare time she likes to create things with fabric and cardboard for fun --- game boards, telephones, record players, violins, dollhouses, just about anything she can think of! After residing for many years in the Los Angeles area, Simone currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She works at home illustrating children's books all day and all night.

Simone Shin's profile page


  • Winner, Holiday/Notable Days Category, Northern Lights Book Awards

Editorial Reviews

Engaging, age-appropriate, and eye-opening.

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

... a solid addition to ... collections highlighting women's studies or gender equality.

School Library Journal

This powerful book highlights nine fictional girls ... from different corners of the globe, each of whom is struggling to bloom within a system that wants to keep her weak.

Booklist, starred review

Eye-opening, thought-provoking and inspiring ...

CM Magazine

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