Mitali Perkins writes novels for young people, including “You Bring the Distant Near,” (nominated for the National Book Award) “Rickshaw Girl,” (NYPL best 100 Book for children in the past 100 years), “Bamboo People,” (ALA Top 10 YA novel) and “Tiger Boy.” (South Asia Book Award winner) Her newest is “The Story of Us,” a picture book from Beaming Books, and a nonfiction book for adults, “Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children’s Novels to Refresh our Tired Souls,” published by Broadleaf. “Rickshaw Girl” is the critically acclaimed story of a young, artistic Bangladeshi girl who bravely defies tradition in order to support her family through hard times. It was adapted into an award-winning film, which will be released in digital and on demand from Filmhub and Sleeperwave Films. Streaming options: Amazon, AppleTV, Hoopla, Vudu, and Kanopy. (Rickshaw Girl, 2022)
“Rickshaw Girl” – A daring Bangladeshi teen-aged girl battles the dangers of the big city when she disguises herself as a boy to earn extra cash for her struggling family. Daring and determined, teenage girl Naima longs to earn money for her poor Bangladeshi family, but her unrivaled artistic talent is of little use. When her father grows gravely ill, Naima feels she has no choice but to leave her small village for the bright lights of Dhaka.
In the big city, Naima finds the same economic, societal, and gender pressures faced by most young girls in Bangladesh. She cleverly disguises herself as a boy and takes the difficult job of a rickshaw puller. When her gender is revealed and her livelihood vanishes, Naima finds an unconventional solution to her problems.
“I was brought up in Dhaka, and from a young age, I traveled by rickshaw. Usually I could never remember the face of the rickshaw puller. Maybe because we usually don’t see their faces but only their backs. I could always see their muscular bodies drenched in sweat, but never understood the meaning of the sweat. As I grew up and my social and economic understanding got better, I realized that our country’s destitute people were oppressed by the upper class. I always wanted to tell a story about them.” director Amitabh Reza Chowdhury.
“I was moved and thrilled when I saw the film version of Naima’s journey. The story is deeper, richer, wider, and more authentically Bangladeshi. Amitabh Reza Chowdhury’s direction is genius, and the acting and cinematography are so captivating.” Mitali Perkins
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Rickshaw Girl release date