A Different Kind of Daughter

A Different Kind of Daughter

The Girl Who Hid From Taliban in Plain Sight

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The incredible story of a girl from tribal Pakistan who risked everything just to play and ended up taking on the Taliban and inspiring the world.

Maria Toorpakai hails from Pakistan's violently oppressive northwest tribal region, where women are forbidden from playing sports and girls rarely leave their homes. But she did, chopping off her hair and passing as a boy in order to play the sports she loved, thus becoming a lightning rod in her country's fierce battle over women's rights.
A Different Kind of Daughter tells of Maria's harrowing journey to play the sport she knew was her destiny, first living as a boy and roaming the violent back alleys of the frontier city of Peshawar, rising to become the number one female squash player in Pakistan. For Maria, squash was not only liberation, though--it was also a death sentence, thrusting her into the national spotlight and the crosshairs of the Taliban, who wanted Maria and her family dead. Maria knew her only chance of survival was to flee the country.
     Enter Canadian Jonathon Power, the first North American to earn the title of top squash player in the world, and the only person to heed Maria's plea for help. Recognizing her determination and talent, Jonathon invited Maria to train and compete internationally in Canada. After years of living on the run from the Taliban, Maria packed up and left the only place she had ever known to move halfway across the globe to pursue her dream in Toronto. Now Maria is well on the way to becoming world champion and continues to be a voice for oppressed women everywhere.
A Different Kind of Daughter is about equality, courage, determination, parents' love, and the ability to turn to what is best in us to fight against what is worst in the world.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Viking, 2016.
ISBN: 9780670069989
Characteristics: viii, 355 pages :,illustrations (chiefly colour), map
Additional Contributors: Holstein, Katherine


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 29, 2017

Toorpakai is lucky this she grew up in a liberal family, smack dab in the middle of an extremely conservative region of Pakistan. The story of how she quickly rose to be one of the world's best squash players in the face of the Taliban and getting caught in the crossfire of the so-called "war on terrorism" is a true inspiration. It is frightening to think among their many backwards ways, the Taliban bans sports for both women AND men ... and that they had better things to do than to try to hunt this woman down. She still plays for Pakistan (for now) but trains in Canada and has taken up a second career as a visual artist. This book is worth a wider audience - stories like hers need to be told if we have any chance of defeating extremism in all its forms.

May 25, 2016

Toorpakai's story is incredibly inspirational and one of the most readable autobiographies I've discovered. It will be hard to put this book down once you start. The writing is a brilliant, and the details of her life are so compelling. Isn't it fantastic that she is in Canada!

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top