Tag Archives: Africa

Picture Book Month: Kindness

13 Nov

13It’s amazing what one person can do to make a difference in the world, but that’s exactly what this story is about – one woman’s choice to make a difference. Isatou Ceesay would walk down the road and each time she did, more plastic grocery bags would line the road in piles of trash. One day, Isatou came up with an idea to turn the trash into treasure by weaving the bags into new bags. She was able to teach other women in her village to weave and soon was selling these bags to earn a living at the same time making her world a cleaner, more beautiful place.
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Top Ten Tuesday: Book Set Outside the U.S.

19 Jul

25 Books About Children Around the World.jpg

This Top Ten Tuesday topic couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as I’m trying so hard to find words to describe how I’m feeling about all that has been happening in the news – race relations in the U.S., terrorist attacks around the world… I feel so much and have so few words.  So, without being able to figure out how to talk about it, I thought that this was something that I could do – share books that teach kids and teens about experiences outside of the U.S.  Look for other lists to be coming out over the next few weeks as I continue to share diverse booklists that teach kids empathy, kindness and really promoting books that show kids a world they may not be familiar with or books that provide teachable moments about the diverse world these kids live in and will experience for their whole lives.  So, I went a little over the 10 titles, but found some amazing stories that need to be shared with kids around the world.

  1. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams
  2. Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami
  3. Mirror by Jeannie Baker
  4. Drum Dream Girl by Margartia Engle
  5. Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
  6. One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway
  7. Rain School by James Rumford
  8. Planting the Trees of Kenyal The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola
  9. 14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy
  10. The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle by Jude Isabella
  11. Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins
  12. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
  13. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
  14. Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
  15. I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosín
  16. Shooting Kabul by N. H. Senzai
  17. The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  18. Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg
  19. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
  20. One Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi
  21. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
  22. Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
  23. Boys Without Names by Kashmira Sheth
  24. Under the Persion Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples
  25. Sold by Patricia McCormick

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

48 Hour Book Challenge Review #1

20 Jun

  I started off with a book suggestion from a colleague – Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell. For now, I’m just going to write up my 140-character book review/synopsis and give you the details later.

140 Character Synopsis/Review: Will loves everything about Africa, but when tragedy strikes she must learn to cartwheel in thunderstorms and be courageous in a new place.

Title: Cartwheeling inThunderstorms 
Author: Katherine Rundell
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for YoungReaders 
Publication Date: 2014
Page Number: 248 pgs.

Promise the Night

25 Jun

Over the weekend I read Promise the Night written by Michaela MacColl.  It’s a historical fiction novel about Beryl Markham, the first pilot to fly solo from England to North America.  I’ll be honest, before I read this book, I had never heard of her but, after reading about her life – I found her very interesting!

Beryl was born in England and raised in British East Africa, in what today is considered Kenya.  Her mother left the family to move back to England and Beryl was raised by her father and the local Nandi tribe where she learned to “jump higher than her head,” wrestle with the boys, and hunt for lions.  She also worked with her father on his horse farm and went on to become a very successful horse trainer in Nairobi.  Beryl then went on to fly across Africa dropping off mail and medical supplies to the far spread settlements.  In 1936, Beryl flew across the Atlantic Ocean from England to North America, the first person, male or female to ever accomplish such a feat.

This was a remarkable adventure story about a real person, which makes me even more interested in learning more about Beryl Markham.  If you’re familiar with Amelia Earhart’s story and want to learn more about female pilots during that time period, just out this interesting story!  This is a great read for upper elementary and middle school students, especially girls who march to the beat of their own drum.

Title: Promise the Night
Author: Michaela MacColl
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Page Number: 262 pgs.

A Long Walk To Water

19 Apr

 I have read a number of things by Linda Sue Park, but A Long Walk to Water was by far the best I’ve read!  This is a dual narrative based on a true story.  The first narrative is by one the Sudanese “Lost Boys.” It is the story of how Salva survived an attack on his village, his long walk to a refugee camp in Ethiopia, and his eventual adoption to a family in New York. 

The opposing narrative in present day Sudan, is about a young girl, Nya, who must walk eight hours a day to a water hole in order to secure the survival of her family.  The stories come together at the end of the book when Salva begins helping to build wells in villages like Nya’s, freeing her for the chance to attend school.

This is a beautiful story that would work well for this year’s Summer Reading theme, but is also an important story for young people to read.  It is a reminder of how different and how similar children are around the world.

Title: A Long Walk to Water
Author: Linda Sue Park
Publisher: Clarion Books
Page Number: 128 pgs.

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