Shanti Fights for Her Rights, Marcia E. Barss

An illustrated cover with a girl in a checkered dress stands on a dirt walkway. She is clutching her schoolbooks.

About the Book

Fourteen-year-old Shanti’s home is in a village in eastern India, where her parents work in the rice fields. She attends school in a town forty kilometres away and hopes to become a teacher. But while she is home on vacation, her mother gives birth to another girl. Shanti’s father declares she must leave school to care for her baby sister. He also makes plans for Shanti to be married as soon as possible, despite the law against girls under eighteen being forced into marriage.

Will Shanti defy her father and village traditions, and find a way to stay in school and postpone marriage? Can she and her friends convince him, and their community, that educating girls will benefit the village? Follow Shanti and her friends as they fight for their right to determine their own future.

Book Links


My Thoughts

In Shanti’s village in India, it is common for girls to get married young. It’s financially beneficial for their families to wed their underage daughters. It doesn’t matter if the law requires they’re 18 because the law can’t reach every village and every teen girl. When faced with marriage at 14, Shanti will do everything in her power to stop that from happening.

It’s important for young girls to know they have options and that there are things they can try to change their parent’s minds. The groups they’ve organized make change not just for the girls but for the entire village. People get comfortable in their lifestyle and don’t realize there’s a better way. Parents don’t realize how dangerous teenage pregnancy can be. Change doesn’t happen in a day, but can be wide sweeping once it takes wind.

I confess this isn’t my usual age group in reading, but I’m glad this book came across my desk. This is a quick read that draws attention to an important issue that needs to be rectified. Shanti Fights for Her Rights is a very beneficial book for all readers.


2 thoughts on “Shanti Fights for Her Rights, Marcia E. Barss

  1. I’ve seen some very interesting books lately that focus on India. I’ve learned so much that I just didn’t have any clue about. This sounds like one I would learn from too. Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

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