Books

Rebel Girls series to tell stories of immigrant women who changed the world

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Sarah Shaffi
Published
Elena Favilli is writing Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed the World.

Forget unrealistic fairytales, these stories of immigrant women who blazed a trail will be your new bedtime reading.

For those of us who grew up reading fairytales in which princesses were always being rescued instead of doing the rescuing, in which kisses were bestowed without consent being sought, and where a wedding was seen as the ultimate goal, Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls was a welcome addition to our bookshelves.

The book profiled 100 real women, trailblazers in areas including science, music and politics, telling their stories in the manner of a fairytale.

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A sequel followed, and now the series is set to add a third book, and this one will specifically celebrate the stories of immigrant women.

Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World, recognises people who “left their homeland to seek refuge, to realise their dreams, and to share their invaluable contributions with the world”.

It will feature women including Rihanna, cricketer Lisa Sthalekar, climate justice activist Xiye Bastida-Patrick, and Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state of the United States. Each story will be accompanied by a full-page, full-colour illustration by a female artist.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls changed the bedtime story.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls changed the bedtime story.

Rebel Girls, the company behind the books, is partnering with the International Rescue Committee for 100 Immigrant Women, and will donate $1 to the charity from each copy of the English language edition sold.

Elena Favilli, founder and CEO of Rebel Girls, said: “In a time where politicians around us keep talking about building walls, I felt it was my duty to voice the stories of bold immigrant women who have changed the world through our new volume of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. 

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“Today’s Rebel Girls are first and foremost the millions of girls and women who are escaping war and violence in their home countries to seek refuge somewhere else. Like the immigrant women featured in this book, these young refugee women are those who will invent the next vaccine, who will discover the next volcano, who will surf the next monumental wave.

“As an immigrant myself, it is important to highlight both the struggles and successes that come along with this journey. My hope is that girls who feel unsafe, unwelcome, or out of place in their current country can find comfort in these incredible stories. It is just as important that non-immigrant girls read these stories to gain insight into the lives of these women and become inspired by their experiences.”

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The news of the new book comes just a week after the Turkish government’s board for the protection of minors from obscene publications said that Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls should be partially banned because it could have a “detrimental influence” on young people.

Favilli said: “We created these books so that girls and women all over the world have access to the largest and most diverse representation of female role models. This incident proves the ongoing need for the Rebel Girls movement. We will never stop telling stories that help women break free.”

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Immigrant Women Who Changed The World will be released in autumn 2020.

Images: Bryan Dale, Rebel Girls

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