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The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can

The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can

A True Story

Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist


The Girl Who Buried Her Dreams in a Can

About the Book

An inspirational picture book autobiography from Oprah Winfrey’s "All-Time Favorite Guest” 

This is the story of a little girl with big dreams.

All the girl ever wanted was an education. But in Rhodesia, education for girls was nearly impossible.

So she taught herself to read and write with her brother’s schoolbooks and to count while watching cattle graze.

When the girl became a young wife and mother, she wrote her goals on a scrap of paper and buried them in a can—an ancient ritual that reminded her that she couldn't give up on her dreams.

She dreamed of going to America and earning one degree; then a second, even higher; and a third, the highest. And she hoped to bring education to all the girls and boys of her village.

Would her dreams ever come true?

Illustrated with Jan Spivey Gilchrist’s graceful watercolors, Dr. Tererai Trent’s true story of perseverance is sure to inspire readers of all ages.

Product Details

On sale: October 6, 2015
Age: 6-8 years
Grade: Grades 1-3
Page count: 40 Pages
ISBN: 9780670016549
Reading level: Lexile: NC770L

Author Bio

Dr. Tererai Trent grew up in a rural village in Rhodesia, a region now known as Zimbabwe. She is a scholar and humanitarian who travels all over the world to speak about the importance of a quality education. In 2011, she started a foundation to bring educational opportunities to children growing up in her hometown. Tererai now splits her time between central California and Zimbabwe. To find out more about her life and her foundation, Tererai Trent International, please visit



"Like Malala Yousafzai's story, this picture book can lead to conversations about education around the world and the connections between literacy and freedom." —Los Angeles Times

"Watercolor illustrations and compelling language and imagery round out this inspiring story." —School Library Connection, starred review!

"An inspirational look at one woman’s journey from ambition and vision to the reality of schooling and schools." —Kirkus Reviews

"Lyrically described...A wonderful selection for discussing the importance of education." —School Library Journal

"Moving...The inspiring story of how one person can overcome difficulties and make a difference." —Booklist