I love to read! I especially like to read books that take me on a journey to the past or to other cultures. I love books that break barriers and stereotypes, exposing me to new realities and experiences of others. My favorite genres are historical fiction and magical realism popularized by Gabriel García Márquez.
For the past couple of years, I have participated in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a book reviewer. It is an event I look forward to as I have an opportunity to not only learn about other cultures but I also discover new authors.
In years past, I have had the opportunity to select the book I would review in advance. This year, however, I left it up to chance. I didn’t have any idea with what book and author I would be partnered. When I received Obstaclēs in the mail, I have to admit I was a little perplexed. A giant dwarfed by his peers? Not exactly what I was expecting, but I was willing to take a chance and give it a go.
I am so glad that I did! What a great story and unique approach to topics today’s children grapple with daily.
I, and my children especially, have always enjoyed science fiction and fantasy novels. With the popularity of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, it is no wonder that these fantastical realms are familiar to today’s middle school kids. Ransom, a middle school history teacher, uses these imaginary places and creatures to describe real-world problems that kids in middle grades may face, doing so in a way that is comfortable and endearing.
The hero in our story is Obstaclēs, a giant who is dwarfed by his peers and struggles to fit in. Students may see themselves and empathize with our hero as he works through issues of bullying, self-confidence, ADHD, and discovering the gifts and unique skills that he has to offer.
As readers will come to discover, this little giant has a big heart. As he learns to overcome difficulties with diligence and perseverance, he also comes to accept and love himself for who he is as an individual. When he recognizes that even a small giant can make a difference, he makes a huge difference.
Entertaining and encouraging, Obstaclēs is a great read for reluctant readers and those who struggle with self esteem. It is a terrific read for kids of all ages, but particularly middle grades (3-6).
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember: