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Milloo's Mind

The Story of Maryam Faruqi,

Trailblazer for Women's Education




(HarperCollins Publishers)

(pub.1.17.2023) 40 pages

Author: Reem Faruqi

Illustrator: Hoda Hadadi

Character: Maryam Faruqi


" Maryam was a trailblazer for women’s education and the author is her granddaughter, creating a personal, inspiring tale.

Milloo lives in a time when school is considered unnecessary for girls. But to Milloo, education is essential.

When Milloo reads, her thoughts dance. Milloo courageously dreams of becoming a teacher, but in fifth grade her parents tell her she has had enough school. Milloo is heartbroken but finds a way to achieve her educational goals, graduating high school and college with honors. When she’s married, Milloo’s husband tells her to stay home, but she does not let that stop her.

She decides to open a school in her house and later opens more schools around Karachi, Pakistan, fulfilling her dreams."

Tantalizing taste:

" 'Milloo! Time for school!' yelled her brothers.

Milloo snaked past the sabzi wala,

cha-chaed past the chai wala,

danced through the dusty alleys,

all the way to school.

Although Milloo knew every answer, she didn't raise her hand

She looked down at the floor.

One day Milloo's teacher didn't come.

Children drew on the chalkboard.

Children stood on chairs.

Children threw paper airplanes.

Milloo wanted to read, but it was too noisy.

She closed her book.


She put her hands on her hips. She stomped to the front of

the class. She whistled loudly.

'Enough is enough!'

Milloo grabbed a piece of chalk and began to teach her class.

When the teacher returned, Milloo raised her hand the highest."

And something more: Reem Faruqi, in the Author's Note explains that her " grandmother, Maryam Faruqi (December 13, 1920-April 9, 2012), affectionately called Milloo by her father, is famous for founding Happy Home Schools in Karachi, Pakistan. These schools are still thriving today...She won scores of lifetime achievement awards, including the President's Award for Literacy (1987) as well as awards from the prime minister and the president of Pakistan. She educated thousands of students, students who have flourished in various professions in life."


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