Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan” as Want to Read:
Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  311 ratings  ·  122 reviews
Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared.

In 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 r
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by Beach Lane Books
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley CerraMagic America by C.E. MedfordHarvesting Hope by Kathleen KrullVoice of Reason by Bryant McGillFlying heroes by Adrian Schafer
Growing future activists
21st out of 134 books — 134 voters
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Rough-Face Girl by Rafe MartinMufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John SteptoeWhistle for Willie by Ezra Jack KeatsRuth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Multicultural Children's Lit
225th out of 326 books — 56 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 663)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Lorenzo Grandison
Nasreen's Secret School is based off a true story from Afghanistan. It's about a girl named Nasreen and her grandmother. It starts with soldiers coming to their town and creating havoc. Then Nasreen's father is taken by the soldier and is not seen again. Then the mother goes out to try to look for him, and she is never seen again also. Nasreen never talked after her parents disappeared. Her grandmother then sends her to a secret school, since going to school for girls was illegal for them, and ...more
A very important story about the power of an education and the beauty of optimism, persistence and ingenuity in the face of adversity. I also really appreciated the author's note at the beginning, clarifying the differences between women's status in pre-Taliban Afghanistan to what came after. I think this was an excellent way to show that it was a select group of people, not "all Muslims" or "the Muslim religion", limiting the rights of women. Unfortunately, I can't say I was wild about the sty ...more
This book tells the painful story of what it was like to be female in Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban, and especially how an education was denied to women. A brave group indeed went against the law and held a secret school that gave hope to these girls.

The story of Nasreen herself is so sad, presumably losing both her father and mother to an Afghan prison (or worse). The spark of hope that an education brings is told very well through both the words and illustrations in this book. I hi
"Nasreen's Secret School" is based on a true story about a girl in pre-wear Afghanistan, whose parents disappeared due to the unjust action of some the Taliban government. Because of the immense loss, Nasreen stopped talking and shut herself out from the world. Her worried and caring grandmother decided to send Nasreen to a secret school for girls behind the green gate. She wanted her to experience and learn about other worlds. This book goes into Nasreen's journey at school and her eventual eme ...more
Mary Hoch
This story is written from the perspective of Nasreen's grandmother. Her son, Nasreen's father, was taken away by Taliban soldiers, who, during this time, controlled Afghanistan. Once Nasreen's mother left in search of her husband, Nasreen no longer speaks. Her grandmother finds a secret school for girls, where she brings Nasreen. Nasreen eventually trusts a friend there enough to speak to her. As Nasreen awaits the return of her mother and father, she eases out of her sadness, using the knowled ...more
L13 Tracy Beling
I have been searching for books to share with my students that give them some insight into different cultures. This is a Jane Addams Children's Book winner from 2010, and it certainly does the job.

This a true story told about a girl named Nasreen who is living in Afghanistan during the Taliban reign. Girls are not allowed to attend school so she spends her days in her house. Her father is taken away from their home, her mother leaves to find him, and her grandmother is left to care for her. Nasr
Morgan Forrest
Genre: Picture Book, Multicultural Literature
Lexile: 630L
Age: Primary-Upper Elementary

Nasreen's grandmother tells us this true story that reveals the truths about life in Afghanistan during the Taliban regime. When young Nasreen's mother and father disappear, she stops speaking and basically shuts down. Because women are forbidden to go to school or leave the house without a male guardian, Nasreen is growing in a world of fear and isolation. Her grandmother decides to risk everything to send Nas
Lisa Vegan
Aug 30, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: children who’ve experienced losses; children who enjoy learning about kids in other cultures
This is one of six books, and the last I read, for the September discussion at the Children's Books group's Picture Book Club, whose theme for the month is “back to school” books.

This is a Global Fund for Children book. It’s based on a real girl and her grandmother; the grandmother tells the story.

Nasreen and her grandmother are Muslim and live in Herat during the reign of the Talaban. Some horrific things happen and Nasreen develops elective mutism. Her grandmother, showing great courage, and h
Crystal Marcos
Thanks to the Children’s Picture Book Club, I had a chance to read this book. It is a true story of a girl named Nasreen who lost both her parents when the Taliban reigned in Afghanistan. After losing her parents, Nasreen stopped talking. I can only imagine how that must have felt! The story is uplifting and shows the ability of Nasreen’s caring grandmother to find a way to help Nasreen become educated in a seemingly impossible situation. My favorite page is the description of how Nasreen no lon ...more
Jael Quijada
Feb 20, 2013 Jael Quijada rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 6-10
Recommended to Jael by: English Teacher
Written from the perspective of someone who dearly loved the main character, you will read about the life of a little girl who will lose both her parents and will at one point just stop talking. Her grandmother could not bare to see her so unhappy, i mean how could she? After hearing about a secret school for girls, because in Afghanistan it was illegal for girls to go to school, Nasreen's grandmother signs her up and is willing to give everything up so that her granddaughter can get an educatio ...more
Blanco Meyers
I read this for Banned Books Week.
Challenged in Johnson City, N.Y. schools as a suggested reading (2013) because
of violent illustrations and storyline. The book is about the Taliban taking control of an Afghan village and preventing girls from going to school. After Nasreen’s father is kidnapped and presumed killed, her grandmother smuggles her each day to an underground school where she can learn to read and write.

It always surprises me when a book based on true events is challenged because of
This is a wonderful text about the triumph of the human spirit as we follow the story of a young girl who takes great risks and goes to great lengths to get an education. Nasreen's parents are taken away by soldiers and her life is changed forever. She stops speaking. She is not allowed to go to school because she is a girl, so she begins attending a secret school for girls. This text can expose students to the very real oppression of women around the world, but it can also be used as a spring b ...more
Jeanette Winter has yet again succeeded in creating a visually stunning and deeply meaningful picture book that looks at current issues so that children can begin to understand them. Much like her earlier books, “The Librarian of Basra” and “Wangari’s Trees of Peace,” Winter’s “Nasreen’s Secret School” tackles an difficult topic and makes it accessible.

The book is narrated by Nasreen’s grandmother, who wants Nasreen to experience the joy and wonder of going to school to learn about the world. Un
Anna Solis
As a young girl here in the U.S. I have always thought that every other country all girls have exact the same education. But, as I began to read this book it made me realize that not all girls in other countries have the same advantage as we do in America. This book shows how an independent little girl becomes a dependent girl who only need books or an education to be happy.
This story takes place in Afghanistan and in Afghanistan only boys can go to school. Nasreeen's parents left to go look fo
Sergio Hernandez
Nasreen’s Secret School is a wonderful children’s book. The story is about a child named Nasreen who lives in Afghanistan where girls and women are not allowed to go to school to study. She and her grandmother eventually find a secret school where little girls study. Nasreen flourishes in the school and she breaks out of her shell of sadness.
I believe this book should be recommended for children 7 and up because there are some difficult words in the story. This book has a great story and I hig
Nasreen's Secret School is about how she decides to not speak after her mom leaves to go find her husband. Her grandma ricks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. After that Nasreen opens up and se the world ina different perspective. This book is intended for ages 6-9 I believe that is from kinder to 4th grade. I believe these ages will be ok because the book will really catch there attention. It doesnt have difficult words or to understand.

Someone who I suggest to read th
Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter is a true story from Afghanistan, this story is about a little girl who recently lost her parents and waits for their return. Ever since her parents left, she wasn’t able to speak or learn but then a little girl changed Nasreen’s education by talking to her. Nasreen starts to speak, to rad, to write, and to add and subtract.

In my opinion this book would be great for young elementary school students about possibly middle school students. This book has s
Karen Witzler
This picture book treads gently through a difficult subject. Not only is Nasreen forbidden to attend school , but she is traumatized by the probable death of her parents. Learning becomes not only an end in itself, but a means to heal deep wounds that are felt throughout her community. The book takes pains to present the pre-Taliban world when Afghani women had some measure of freedom. The book is narrated by Nasreen's grandmother who helps her attend a secret school for girls.
"Nasreen's Secret School" was about a little girl who finds the power of education. After Nasreen's parents disappeared, her grandmother risks everything to give her granddaughter an education, and to get her to talk again. It is a great read for kids. It tells kids about how important education is and how important it is to be someones friend. It also teaches children about different cultures and how different it is in other countries. Teachers and parents would diffidently choose this book bec ...more
Tangerine Aguilar
Nasreen's Secret School is about how a young girl finding happiness in school work. She has certain problems come her way with her parents read more to find out. I honestly believe this book would be great for 6-8 year old kids because the colorful pictures and detailed action about what goes on around the characters in the story. For example " And when the boys saw the soldiers near the green gates, they distracted them." One purpose I see when in countering this book would be putting your li ...more
Jesus Vasquez
"Nasreen's secret school" written by Jeanette winter is a interesting book. Throughout this book we get an inside look at the lives of girls from foreign countries and limitations on their freedom. The audience that would best be interested in this book would be 4th graders and above. My reasoning for this is because you need to be able to put yourselves in other peoples shoes to understand it. The theme of the book is how girls in foreign countries in many cases have few rights and freedom. Par ...more
Victor Vasquez
Nasreen's secret school is about a school that provides girls an education secretly in Afghanistan where women are deprived many rights one being able to recieve an education. Nasreen is a girl in lives in herat her parents are taken from home by afghanistan soldiers and could have been sent to prison or worse.

This book is ok for children above 7 and below 10. I think this book may be too boring and sad for younger children and because of this i wouldn't recommend it for younger children.

This a
Jessica B
Nasreen has lost both of her parents. Soldiers took her father, and her mother went out to find him and never returned. She is devastated at their disappearance. She lives in Afghanistan, where girls aren’t allowed to go to school. She lives with her grandmother now, and her grandmother enrolls her in a secret school for girls. Nasreen learns to love school, and begins to talk more. This is an insightful picture book for young children. I would recommend using it in a classroom grades 2-4. This ...more
Alondra Hernandez
Nasreen’s Secret School is a great book for kids that are between the ages 6 and 9. This book is great for them because it shows the importance of education. It would be good for them to know that in other countries some people aren't allowed to go to school and that we are really lucky to have access to education. In this book Nasreen’s dad is taken away from her so she becomes very sad. I really like what her grandma did for her to get her mind out of her being sad; she decides to take her to ...more
This would be aimed at a younger audience from ages 6 on up. This keeps everyone involved with the actions taken place in the book such as her father being taken away and how women aren't supposed to go to school.It keeps you in your toes. Flora Stieglitz Straus Award
Rigo Vargas
The book is about a young girl who lost both her parents and is left alone with her grandmother, she is then taken to a secret school for girls only as they were not allowed to learn, Nasreen has not spoken to anyone nor said a word since the departure of her parents. This book is was not as intriguing as I thought it would be. The pictures in the book are good but the story for is personally too short to even catch my attention. If you don't like short books then this probably won't be the righ ...more
The book "Nasreen's Secret School" is mainly about how girls weren't able to go to school during that time and how the main character of the book Nasreen attended that school because her grandmother thought it was a good idea after the military had took her father aweay and then her mother went to search for him. Im pretty sure this book is attended to capture the children audience. The purpose of this book is to give the message of how if you feel soomething is right and you know it is you shou ...more
This book was not how I expected. I expected it to be a book with a happy ending and even though it does have a good ending it still leaves the ready with one made question "What happen to the parents". But this book wasn't like any other child book it had a point to it and its point is to let others know what is happening in other contrys and how they treat men and women different. A reason why a person would want to read this book is because it a good book to read to the child to let them know ...more
I realize we all need to be aware of the goings on in other country especially the horrific way women are treated. I just hope this type of book is appreciated by children.
Steffany Dominguez
The book I read was "Nasreen's Secret School". Nasreen's parents disappeared, and since that time she hadn't spoken to anyone. Her sweet grandmother risks things to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. The audience for this book in my opinion would be 7 and up because it can teach kids what parents actually do for them. A reason someone should read this book is because they maybe could be having a bad relationship with somebody, and this book shows a good relationship with Nasreen and he ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai
  • Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad
  • Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
  • Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea
  • Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya
  • Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty
  • My Dadima Wears a Sari
  • Ron's Big Mission
  • Eleanor, Quiet No More
  • Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/La juez que crecio en el Bronx
  • Four Feet, Two Sandals
  • Suki's Kimono
  • Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books
  • The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Saved Jews During the Holocaust
  • Ruth and the Green Book
  • Sister Anne's Hands
  • One Well: The Story of Water on Earth
  • Ellington Was Not a Street
The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps Follow the Drinking Gourd Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Share This Book