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A Girl Called Problem
Katie Quirk
Ages 10—14
Lexile: 770L
PAPERBACK; Published: 4/18/2013
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5404-9
Price: $ 9.00
243 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.25 x 8
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Thirteen-year-old Shida, whose name means "problem" in Swahili, certainly has a lot of problems in her life — her father is dead, her depressed mother is rumored to be a witch, and everyone in her rural Tanzanian village expects her to marry rather than pursue her dream of becoming a healer. So when the village's elders make a controversial decision to move their people to a nearby village, Shida welcomes the change. Surely the opportunity to go to school and learn from a nurse can only mean good things.

However, after a series of puzzling misfortunes plague the new village, Shida must prove to her people that moving was the right decision, and that they can have a better life in their new home.

For author pictures of Tanzania, a video depicting the life of a modern Tanzanian girl, discussion questions for each chapter of the book, and suggestions for further reading, please go to katie-quirk.com and follow the links for A Girl Called Problem.

Read Katie Quirk's blog post about the courage of Tanzanian women that helped inspire the book on EerdWord.


Voice of Youth Advocates Top Shelf Fiction List (2013)

Society of School Librarians International Annual Book Awards Honor Book (2013)

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing List (2013)

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance Maine Literary Awards Finalist (2014) 

Fuse #8 100 Magnificent Children’s Books List (2013) 

American Library Association Social Responsibilities Round Table: Feminist Task Force Amelia Bloomer Project List (2014)

2014 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People Grades