By the end of the year, the kids realize that Ms. Gupta had been right. They made some great friends in class. But what about the next year? Ms. Gupta to the rescue again!
I want you to stop for a moment and imagine being a parent telling your eight-year-old that you’re about to send him on a journey that will take him to another country, mostly by foot, across hundreds of miles, across all sorts of terrains, in all sorts of weather, facing untold dangers, in search of a better life. Now imagine that you’re the eight-year-old.
As the youngest daughter of a Cuban family living in Miami, Lila Reyes has everything she could possibly want. She has spent her life learning to make all of the recipes her grandmother taught her while working at their family bakery, La Paloma. Cooking and baking are Lila’s heart and soul; they are the passions that drive her dreams and fuel her goals. The recipes her grandmother taught her go far beyond the kitchen where she spends so much of her time; they are the very beat of her heart.
From the streets of Oakland, to the plains of Zambia, from snowy Montreal to historic Howard University in Washington DC, we follow Kamala’s story as she sees injustice and tries to right it in ways big and small. Illustrator Laura Freeman’s colorful and bold illustrations are gorgeous, and Grimes’ prose is poetic but to the point.
In a story about women using their voices, not only is the protagonist a male, but the reader is left wondering how exactly Henry’s mother persuaded him to change his mind. The Voice that Won the Vote is Harry’s, not Febb’s. Harry’s mother’s voice is silent. Febb’s voice is drowned out.
Enter Marva Sheridan, the young Black heroine of The Voting Booth, who will tell you that some people don’t have the luxury of not being involved. The novel is set on Election Day, in an unnamed year, although the issues discussed throughout might give you a clue as to where Colbert’s mind is. Marva is so excited to be voting in her first election. For the past two years, she has been canvassing, registering voters, and even getting her beloved cat to encourage civic participation on Instagram. Her parents, while proud, wonder if Marva is a little too intense.
You see, Marva has been interested in politics since she was 7, when she summarily informed her teacher that she wanted to become either Secretary of State, an environmental attorney, or a Supreme Court Justice.
In her book, The Heart of Mi Familia, Lara seamlessly weaves a story of what it is like to be not only bilingual, but also bicultural, and she does so in a sweet story of a little girl that effortlessly moves between two cultures.
This book is visually stunning, as should be expected from Love. There is enough detail in her gorgeously rendered pages to get swept away in the melodies of her drawings. There is a grace to her artwork that draws beauty from the line between detail and abstraction. No finer example is found than the “mermaid tree” where our pair are ultimately found.
Sili Recio’s description of how her color was used as both a source of joy and encouragement and a weapon to cause pain is both poignant and inspirational. Her message to boys and girls with skin that is “a ribbon of different shades of brown” is especially important under the current climate our country and the world is experiencing.