This gorgeous book introduces readers (ages 12+) to fifteen incredible women with Roots in Iran. In their biographies, readers will find athletes and artists, scientists and activists, astronauts and authors whose struggles are universal. Yet they persevered. Roots in Iran celebrates the achievements of transformative pioneers whose vision of who they wanted to become will surprise and inspire readers of all ages.

In Summer 2017, Yasmine Mahdavi’s children listened to her tell them about the recently deceased Maryam Mirzakhani, a woman, born and raised in Iran who became a world-famous mathematician. In fact, she is the first and only female to date to win the Fields Medal, the highest prize in mathematics. Telling Maryam’s story to her children, set Yasmine off on a marvelous adventure of curiosity. Who are the other women with roots in Iran who overcame significant obstacles, and how did they achieve success?

Four years after Yasmine told Maryam’s story around the kitchen table, she is delighted to share Roots in Iran with readers.

The book is divided in two sections, the longer chapters provide an in-depth look into the lives of five trailblazers. Readers learn how Anousheh Ansari’s fascination with the galaxies led to her triumphs and travails as an entrepreneur and how Jasmin Moghbeli, riveted by the achievements of Valentina Tereshkova, became a Marine helicopter and eventually a U.S. astronaut. The shorter chapters introduce readers to ten more dynamic women. Readers travel with Farnaz “Spider-Woman” Esmaeilzadeh, rock-climbing star, to find out how she got her start, and discover how Melody Ehsani, designer extraordinaire, champions women’s rights even though she didn’t end up in law school.

Each story is accompanied by brilliant, full-color portraits created by female artists with roots in the Middle East. The book also offers sidebars that give a glimpse into Iran’s culture and history as well as the intriguing vocations the women pursued. Moreover, each chapter offers a discussion guide aligned with Common Core Standards.

Yasmine Mahdavi was born and raised in Iran. She left Iran for the U.S. when she was twelve years old. She wrote this book—her first—to her thirteen-year-old self as an homage to her country of birth and an ode to her adopted country. Yasmine lives in New York City.

For review copies and more information:

Yasmine Mahdavi

Roots In Iran: Stories of Visionary Women

By: Yasmine Mahdavi

Available in Paperback at Amazon, B&N, Bookshop

September 2021

ISBN: 9780578965000

5.5 x 0.34 x 8.5 inches

142 Pages

$18.99 USD

Yasmine Mahdavi



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