Nasreen’s Secret School


Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents

IIn despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of her shell of sadness?

Based on a true story from Afghanistan, this inspiring book will touch readers deeply as it affirms both the life-changing power of education and the healing power of love.


Writer: Jeanette Winter
Storyteller (English): Ajay Dasgupta
Illustrations: Jeanette Winter
Writer: Jeanette Winter
Storyteller (Marathi): Sunanda Hulyalkar
Illustrations: Jeanette Winter

Full text of the story (
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About the author

Jeanette Winter lives in New York City, where she has written and illustrated many books for children based on true-life stories, including the highly acclaimed Mama, Wangari’s Trees of Peace and The Librarian of Basra, which was an ALA Notable Children’s Book and a winner of the Bank Street College of Education’s Elora Stieglitz Straus Award.

Amazing people working for education at the grass roots across the world

How I stopped the Taliban from shutting down my school
When the Taliban closed all the girls’ schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country.
Dare to educate Afghan girls
Imagine a country where girls must sneak out to go to school, with deadly consequences if they get caught learning. This was Afghanistan under the Taliban, and traces of that danger remain today. 22-year-old Shabana Basij-Rasikh runs a school for girls in Afghanistan. She celebrates the power of a family’s decision to believe in their daughters — and tells the story of one brave father who stood up to local threats.
A girl who demanded school
Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father: She would undergo a traditional Maasai rite of passage, female circumcision, if he would let her go to high school. Ntaiya tells the fearless story of continuing on to college, and of working with her village elders to build a school for girls in her community, changing the destiny of 125 young women.

Ajay Dasgupta

On a mission to make stories more accessible to every child. Founder of The Kahani Project and Skills Cafe' (

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