Last week was rough on my son, I spent the week in the hospital and while I talked to him every day via FaceTime he had a hard time sleeping and a tough time at school. When I went to pick him up with my husband, he ran over with a huge smile on his face, hugged me super tight and wouldn’t let go. I knew that he was going to need some extra special cuddles and a book that would leave him feeling empowered to face the challenges ahead. We had lots of book mail waiting, but my son went straight for Sarla in the Sky by Anjali Joshi.

The poetic text of this easy reader tells the story of Sarla Thakral, the first Indian woman to get her pilot’s license. As a young girl, this trailblazer dreamed of flying like a bird or a butterfly, but friends told her it was impossible. She held tight to her dream as she grew, despite the obstacles, always reminding herself, that there was nothing that she couldn’t do. With perseverance and hard work, Sarla flew solo in a Gypsy Moth at 21 years old, a woman making a name for herself in a man’s world. The message that no matter what obstacles we face, we can persevere and succeed is a beautiful and timely message that can empower so many young readers.