Rachel Wadham


Outstanding, Intermediate, Young Adult, Tanya Lee Stone, Girls, Education, Women's Studies, Nonfiction, Social Change

Document Type

Book Review


In 2013, Tanya Lee Stone saw the documentary film Girl Rising and quickly realized that there was another format in which to tell the stories the amazing young women around the world who face obstacles to obtain a basic education, and thus this book was born. Building on the field notes, photographs, and raw footage provided by the filmmakers, Stone brings to life the lives of girls from India, Nepal, Egypt, Cambodia, and other countries where there are approximately sixty-two million girls who are not in school. Organizing the stories around three barriers to education access (modern-day slavery, child marriage, and limited access), Stone and the stories she tells puts real faces to the challenges and beautiful successes of amazing young women. The stories told in Girl Rising are full of pain and grief, but the ultimate message of this book is one of hope and courage. The stunning photographs are powerful reminders that there are real people behind the statistics Stone outlines with basic infographics. Stone places a strong emphasis on the arts in the lives of these girls, and she shows how they use dance, drawing, and poetry to convey their messages for the promise of change. The girls' ability to triumph over extreme odds to just go to school provides a sobering reality to many teens; Stone’s focus in the last chapter on the solutions anyone can use to change the world are empowering. Stone's vision for how the future of our globally connected world can build and support girls through education is for every reader who cares about making a difference. *Contains truthful representation of real life violence, assault, poverty.