Mar 102017
 

I am fascinated by the Hindu celebration Holi, the one you see the amazing photographs of each year, with people showering each other with vibrantly colored powders or colored water. But to be honest, beyond the sense of it as a joyous, lively festival, I really didn’t know much about it. Well, dear reader, for you I have decided to go deeper and find out more: Here is why now I’m convinced everyone should learn about Holi!

5 Reasons Everyone Should Learn About Holi | Alldonemonkey.com

Photo by Raghuvanshidude (Holi) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I received a copy of Let’s Celebrate Holi for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Related Post: India for Kids – Favorite Resources for Elementary Students

Why Everyone Should Learn About Holi

1. It is incredibly fun.

Holi is one of the most fun celebrations I have heard of! The most famous aspect of Holi is how celebrants throw colored powder on each other and spray everyone with colored water, until everyone and everything is covered with beautiful, bright colors. Talk about fun, especially for kids who are always told to be careful not to spill or get their clothes dirty! (Find out how to make your own homemade colored powders).

2. It celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

No matter what your religion or philosophy, the battle of good and evil is a classic struggle where we all can support the same side! Sharing the story of Holi is a great way to teach children that when it comes down to it, all people believe in the same basic principles.

3. It is celebrated throughout India and around the world.

Holi is not only celebrated in one of the world’s most populous countries, it has also become popular in other countries as well, in part due to immigration but also because it is such a fun festival (see #1!)

4. The food is spectacular.

As with so many holidays, Holi is a time of eating special foods, like the gujia pastry or the refreshing spiced milk drink thandai (you can also make a dairy-free version).

5. Your kids will think you are the coolest parent ever.

Getting messy, throwing water and powder on each other, eating great food, and hearing stories that excite the imagination: no doubt about it, if you help your kids learn about Holi, they will think you are awesome! 

Related Post: Holi Crafts and Activities for Kids

Convinced? Then I have the perfect guide to teach you and your kids all about Holi! You may remember the series I have reviewed previously about Maya and Neel, the brother and sister who introduce children to Indian culture. They taught about Mumbai in Let’s Visit Mumbai! and the holiday Diwali in Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali! (see my reviews here and here). In their latest adventure, Let’s Celebrate Holi!, Maya and Neel help children learn about Holi through traditional foods and activities. I love that the book also highlights regional variations in how Holi is celebrated, with colorful illustrations and maps.

I also appreciated reading the story behind Holi, something I had never really understood before. After all, what does throwing powder on each other have to do with the triumph of good over evil? Find out, plus discover what it has to do with the bonfires during Holi!

As with the other volumes in this series, the illustrations are beautiful and engaging, and young readers can easily relate to these siblings as they learn about Holi and Indian culture, as seen through the eyes of children. If you are looking to introduce your child to this festival or want a story to share in your classroom, I highly recommend Let’s Celebrate Holi!!

Mar 032017
 
 March 3, 2017  parenting 4 Responses »

Are you having trouble balancing work and family? Whether your a career woman or a work-at-home mom, balancing family and career is perhaps the single most challenging aspect of modern motherhood. I don’t have all the answers: It is something I struggle with every day. In fact, I am late publishing this article because it is hard to take photos with wiggly little ones, my oldest had science night at his school last night (fun!), and my preschooler got slime all over the living room when I finally was able to get on the computer.

Balancing Work and Family: 4 Things to Do Right Now | Alldonemonkey.com

But luckily I have found some things that have help me in my journey. If you are looking for better balance in your life, here are 4 things you can do right now.

Don’t miss our big giveaway below for a copy of the incredible new book Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg!

Related Post: Finding Balance as a Mom

Balancing Work and Family: 4 Things to Do Right Now

1. Know that it’s not your fault.

We’ve all heard about “mommy guilt” – that uncomfortable feeling you get when you are doing something for yourself and not your kids. Despite great strides in recent decades, we live in a culture that still teaches mothers that their needs always come after those of their children, whether you are looking at career or simply having some “me” time. But the problem is deeper than that: there are serious structural problems that make it impossible for women (and men) to prioritize both their families and their careers. From national policies to workplace culture, working parents are often forced to put their careers ahead of their families or risk losing out on critical promotions and opportunities. By putting the onus on mothers themselves (how you should find balance in your life), the focus is taken off the changes that could be made in the public realm. Awareness is the first step.

2. Throw out the old paradigms.

Most women feel like they must choose between family and career: once they have a baby, they have to either stay at home or return to the office. But these days more and more women are choosing to trailblaze their own career paths using non-traditional methods, such as flexible schedules, working remotely from home, working freelance or starting their own companies.

Related Post: Asian-Inspired Self-Care for Moms

3. Think long-term.

As my mother is good about reminding me, there are seasons to life. You will not always have small children at home. Babies grow up and no longer need constant care. Children eventually learn to make their own sandwiches, find their lost toys (hopefully!), and make their own way in the world. Don’t be discouraged if all of your time is absorbed with these tasks right now, because this will change. Make a long-term strategy of where you would like to be in 5 years, 10, or 15.

Balancing Work and Family: 4 Things to Do Right Now | Alldonemonkey.com

4. Read Work, Pause, Thrive.

I highly recommend that every mother read the new book Work PAUSE Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg. Stromberg is an award-winning journalist and CEO and founder of her own consultancy and – most importantly to me – she is a mom of three who has been there through career changes and family crises.

But her groundbreaking work isn’t just based on her own experiences. She collected data from nearly 1,500 women about their career/family trajectories and conducted 186 interviews. And what she found was startling: in the face of difficult odds, more and more women are throwing out the old paradigms and forging their own paths to integrate career and family in non-traditional ways.

Yet for the most part, the paths were only clear in hindsight. Often the women were making tough choices at pivotal moments, unsure of where they would lead. Through compiling her data, Stromberg is for the first time presenting to women alternate paths they can take, so that their career trajectories will not feel as haphazard as hers often did.

Balancing Work and Family: 4 Things to Do Right Now | Alldonemonkey.com

As a mother of grown children and a woman at the peak of her career, Stromberg has great insight to share with readers, always speaking with her younger self in mind but also her own children as they begin on their careers.

And best of all, you can win a copy of this incredible book! Enter below for a chance to win.

Giveaway

Prizes: One of 15 copies of Work PAUSE Thrive by Lisen Stromberg ($25 ARV)

Dates: February 21, 2017 – March 11, 2017

Entry Options: You may enter the giveaway via the widget with the following options: Tweet a message

Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by March 14, 2017

Terms & Conditions: See the widget for details

Eligibility: Age 18+, US resident only, only one winner per household

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Feb 272017
 
 February 27, 2017  bilingualism No Responses »

I barely played video games growing up and even as an adult never found them very entertaining, at least, not compared to reading a book or, you know, hanging out with real live people or feeling the sunshine on my face. Yet my children love them and so I have come to appreciate video games as fun and often brain-building activities. I have even logged some time playing their favorite, Minecraft, though I have no idea what I am doing! It is quite humbling to have your 4 year old sigh as he explains something to you again. It seemed an apt metaphor for bilingual parenting, which is also incredibly challenging but rewarding. Here are the ways I have discovered that bilingual parenting is like Minecraft.

Z Is for Zombie: How Bilingual Parenting Is Like Minecraft | Alldonemonkey.com


Z Is for Zombie: How Bilingual Parenting Is Like Minecraft

– Often the world you are operating in can seem very surreal.

– You find yourself doing things you never thought you would.

– You can still have lots of fun even if most of the time you don’t know what is going on.

– Some days everyone is building together peacefully (Creative Mode), while other days you’re being attacked constantly by strange creatures (Survival Mode).

– Your children often understand more than you do.

– You don’t really need a lot of gear, but it can help, though the wide range of choices can be confusing.

– You find yourself using vocabulary (like “OPOL” or “creeper”) that your pre-child self wouldn’t recognize.

– Some days you’re just happy if you know what your children are saying.

– You try to act like you’re the one in charge, but eventually you realize that you are part of a world your kids have created and you all have to work together if you want to accomplish anything.

– You are more likely to build something amazing (or survive attacks) if you have others helping you.

– Sometimes everything is going great, but other times you are surrounded by creatures (your children or nay sayers) that explode if you even look at them.

– You are humbled by how much you have left to learn, at the same time as you are proud of what you have managed to accomplish.

– Every day is an adventure that challenges your creativity and endurance, but that in the end is always worth it.

the piri-piri lexicon

This post is part of the month-long series A-Z of Raising Multilingual Parenting, from the piri-piri lexicon. Be sure to stop by and see some of the other articles in this incredible collection about bilingual parenting!

Feb 202017
 

Purim is coming, and I have gathered together the best FREE Purim printables out there! They are guaranteed fun for you and your kids, as part of your celebrations of this fun holiday. From masks and puppets to coloring pages and activities, there is something for everyone!

Free Purim Printables | Alldonemonkey.com

Free Purim Printables

From Moms & Crafters: Free Printable Labels

From Moms & Crafters: Color-In Masks for Grownups and Kids

From Alpha Mom: Printable Masks

From Chai & Home: Paper Crown

From Ann D. Koffsky: Puppets to Color

From Tori Avey: Finger Puppets

From Kosher on a Budget: 10 Free Coloring Pages

From Dena Ackerman: Purim Coloring Pages

From To the Moon & Back: E Is for Esther Templates and Activities

From Our Jewish Homeschool Blog: Activity Pack

How are you celebrating this year?

 

Purim for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of our annual Purim for Kids blog hop. Visit the posts below for great ideas about sharing this holiday with the kids in your life! Don’t miss our blog hop from last year, and you can find even more ideas on our Purim board on Pinterest:


Participating Blogs

ZinnHouse.com on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Interfaith Purim Plus: A Wide Approach to Spring Holidays
Moms & Crafters: Free Color-in Purim Puppets
Kelly’s Classroom: Better-than-Best Purim
Melibelle in Tokyo: From Shushan with Love
All Done Monkey: Free Purim Printables

Feb 142017
 
 February 14, 2017  Ayyam-i-Ha No Responses »

Looking for some great Ayyam-i-Ha gifts for your loved ones? Find something for everyone (including homemade gifts and crafts) in our newly updated Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide, while supporting Bahá’í-inspired and globally minded businesses!

Ayyam-i-Ha Gift Guide 2017 - Alldonemonkey.com

Ayyám-i-Há Gift Guide 2017

And don’t miss these Ayyám-i-Há gifts on Etsy, and these cute printable bookmarks and gift tags!

And of course, don’t miss our Ayyám-i-Há Fun Book, on sale now!

Ayyam-i-Ha: Fun Ideas for Children and Families

Jan 312017
 
 January 31, 2017  family, food, natural parenting No Responses »

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

Now that the school year is halfway over, it is easy to get in a rut with lunches for the kids. Want something fun to pack for them that you can feel good about? Here are some great healthy and fun lunchbox ideas for you!

I received complimentary samples of HONCHOS Organic Tortilla Chips; however, all opinions are my own.

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas

Put new life into your kids’ school lunches with these healthy & fun lunchbox ideas!

From All Done Monkey: Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

From Maple & Marigold: Spicy & Savoury Chickpea Flour Pancakes

From Mama Smiles: Make It Easy for Your Kids to Pack Healthy Lunches

From Danya Banya: Cheese Monsters

From Kidz Activities: Tuna Sushi & Minion Sandwich

From Kidgredients: Cinnamon Honey Roasted Chickpeas & Date and Banana Muffins, No Added Sugar

From Eats Amazing: Cheese & Tomato Omelette Muffins & Roasted Carrot Hummus

From Mooshu Jenne: Peanut Butter Rolls

Related Post: Healthy Desserts for Kids

As the links above show, “healthy” doesn’t have to mean boring or even complicated to make. There are also a lot of healthy, ready made snack options these days. One recent discovery is Deep River Snacks’ HONCHO Organic Tortilla Chips, which come in fun flavors like Nacho Cheese, Ranch, and (my favorite) Peach Habanero. These tasty chips are gluten-free and use 100% organic ingredients – no GMOs allowed!

I also love supporting businesses that are passionate about giving back to the community, which is why I was so happy to discover that Deep River Snacks helps raise awareness by featuring charities on their snacks, giving in-kind donations, and donating 10% of their net profits to charity.

But enough about why love them – the real test for the lunchbox is what the kids think! Let me just say this was a difficult photo shoot because, well, we could hardly stop eating long enough to get pictures! We got to try all three varieties, and none of them lasted long in our pantry.

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

When it’s so good you just want to eat your hand

I asked the boys which was their favorite flavor, and they really couldn’t decide. Try doing a taste test with your kids and see if they have any easier time making up their minds! They are all so flavorful, your kids won’t miss the junk food they could be eating instead!

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

 

Healthy & Fun Lunchbox Ideas | Alldonemonkey.com

All that was left by the time I got a picture

Jan 272017
 

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day by sharing your favorite multicultural books for kids in the comments or in the HUGE linky below!

Why We Need Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Now more than ever we need to raise children who not only tolerate but celebrate diversity. Reading diverse books together is one of the easiest and most fun ways to share the world with children, which is why we are so happy to be a sponsor of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

We have had the pleasure of participating in this important annual event since its inception, with reviews of amazing books, from Native American folklore, books to teach geography and critical thinkingmiddle grade fiction about a Mayan goddess, and bilingual board books.

For more information about the inspiration behind MCCBD, read my interview with its founders,

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. This event has also proven to be an excellent way to compile a list of diverse children’s book titles and reviews for parents, grandparents, educators and librarians to use all year long.

Current Sponsors: 

MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Booksand Pomello Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah StevensonAndrea 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.

Important Links

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i

Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with is on social media and be sure and look for/use their official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

 

Jan 232017
 

Thank you to Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes for this post on how to organize a multicultural kids event in 5 easy steps!

Living in large cities provides ample opportunities to attend a variety of multicultural events. However, living in small towns, not so much. Which in turn has motivated me many times to organize a multicultural kids event at our local library or in our home.

My motto is when you lack opportunities you create them, and that’s exactly what I did!

To clarify, I started doing my events at home with my son’s friends, and then I moved on to facilitating events at our local library.

Image Source
Now, let’s get started!

Organize a Multicultural Kids Event in Five Easy Steps

  1. Determine your budget. If your event is being sponsored (see #4), you don’t have to incur any expenses.
  2. Determine what type of event you will be hosting. Here are some examples that I have done:
  3. Set the time and date.
  4. Decide where you want the event to be held:
    • Recreational center (there is usually a fee for this)
    • Your home (no fee)
      • You will have to consider available space in your home, and  how many kids you’ll be inviting.
    • Library rooms.  You can book a library conference room for free.
      • Contact the library and pitch them your idea.  I met with the director and event coordinator with my event proposal.  They accepted and sponsored my activity.
  5. Determine what type of activities you will have:
    • Story time with a book that goes with the event’s theme.
    • A facilitator.
    • Music
    • Crafts
    • Games Around the World
      • Determine what type of games you’ll be playing.
    • Food
      • Will you be serving food? Some places like the library don’t allow you to bring food or drinks.  However, if they sponsoring, they will probably allow it.  Be sure to ask, since this depends on the library.
If all of this is still a bit too much for you just organize a multicultural kids event at your child’s school! Talk to your child’s teacher and just to do it for the classroom.
Image Source

Organizing a multicultural kids event may seem like a daunting task, but once you get it rolling you’ll be so glad you did.

Last but not least, have fun, and enjoy your event!  If I can do it so can you.

Hispanic Heritage Month Community Event at our local library. Little one is always my helper.  He gets up there and participates by reading and helping me.

For more ideas on raising a global citizen take a look at Multicultural Kid Blogs Pinterest page.

About the Author

francesFrances is a part-time blogger, mommy and wife of a beautiful multicultural familia.  Shortly before her child turned 4 yrs. old she started blogging about discovering the world through her son’s eyes, hence the name of her blog. She love doing things with her son, and became passionate about teaching him to be bilingual, and to identify with his multicultural identity. She writes about heritage, bilingualism, multicultural children’s book and global culture education with lots of hands-on activities and language learning ideas for kids.

She can be found musing at her blog Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes or on Instagram her new fave social media platform.   You can also follow her on TwitterFacebook  and Google+.

Jan 162017
 
 January 16, 2017  bilingualism, Spanish No Responses »

Thank you to MommyMaestra for this post on 3 must-have resources for parents of Spanish-speaking preschoolers!

Many parents feel that the best time to learn multiple languages is when children are small and their brains are more efficient at processing language. And today, more and more parents are working hard to pass on their heritage language to their children. For Hispanics, that means Spanish tools and resources are in high demand, but sometimes hard to find. While children can learn languages simply through communication with family and friends, there are a few tools that parents should stock up on to help them make the learning process extra fun.

3 Must-Have Resources for Parents with Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers | Alldonemonkey.com


If you have Spanish-speaking preschoolers at home, check out these must-have resources.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.

3 Must-Have Resources for Parents with Spanish-Speaking Preschoolers

Bilingual Books

Lucky for us, the number of Latino children’s literature is increasing (albeit slowly). But for preschoolers, there are quite a few exceptional titles that not only teach them basic skills such as numbers, colors, shapes, and letters, but they teach these concepts in Spanish! And don’t forget books with traditional nursery rhymes and fingerplays which were originally created to help children learn. Some of my favorites include:

Related Post: Favorite Homeschool Resources for Teaching Spanish

Bilingual Music

There are so many great musicians who have recently come out with fun and educational albums in Spanish for children. Research shows that music is a great learning tool for children because the repetitive rhythms help children remember the concepts being taught. And it is easy to see how this works when you listen to the joyful songs available for kids. Make listening to music a part of your daily routine. And some of these musicians even have fun music videos to enhance your child’s learning. From dinosaurs to opposites, your children will move and sing their little hearts out to these outstanding albums currently available for purchase online as MP3 downloads or CDs:

Related Post: 3 Easy Ways to Use Music to Teach Preschool Spanish

Spanish Apps

While I strongly advise limiting your child’s access to tech, you might as well ensure that their time spent staring at a screen be educational. There are quite a few remarkable apps that are available for both iOS, Android, and Kindle. All of them are vibrant and engaging, but I encourage parents to sit with your child the first time or two to ensure that the app is appropriate for their age. Here are my favorite apps for preschoolers:

About the Author

MonicaMonica Olivera is a homeschooling mother of two and a freelance education writer. Her site, MommyMaestra.com, helps Hispanic parents get more involved in their children’s education by providing resources, tips, and opportunities. She is also the co-founder of Latinas for Latino Lit and the content creator of the Latino Children’s Summer Reading Program, the first national, online program designed specifically for Latino families. Her education articles have appeared in numerous online sites such as NBCNews, latinamom.me, and PBSParents. To learn more, visit her About.me page.

Connect with Monica on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Dec 282016
 

We all want our children to soar, to go on brave adventures to help others and achieve their dreams. From stunning picture books to a magical middle grade novel, here is a collection of wonderful tales that encourage children to do just that: to have courage and embark on their own heroic journeys.

Disclosure: I received complimentary copies of the books below for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Tales of Heroic Journeys | Alldonemonkey.com

Tales of Heroic Journeys

Introduce children to a classic Japanese fairy tale with the beautiful The Last Kappa of Old Japan: A Magical Journey of Two Friends. The story begins, as many do, with an unexpected friendship of two children and their subsequent adventures. But while one of the children is a typical boy from the Japanese countryside in the days before the encroachment of the modern world, the other is not human at all. Rather, he is a kappa, a mythical water creature known to be playful – and to love cucumbers! Despite their differences, the boys become close friends; yet, as modernization begins to pollute the nearby waters, the kappa and his family are forced to leave. The boys only come into contact again years later, when the kappa returns to help his old friend – now a man – avoid a tragedy. They are delighted to be together again, but now, thanks to increasing pollution, the kappa is old and weak. A cautionary tale about protecting the environment, and having the courage to help our friends despite the danger to ourselves. (As a side note, the myth of the kappa is actually the origin of our modern story of mutant ninja turtles!)

I love the endearing illustrations of the two boys and the changing landscape of the countryside. And even though I don’t know any Japanese, I love having this bilingual Japanese-English edition because it is such a wonderful way to expose children to another language and way of writing!

Related Post: Global Adventure Books for Kids

Bessie, Queen of the Sky

Image courtesy of Queen Girls

I am so delighted to introduce the soon to be released Bessie, Queen of the Sky from Queen Girls. This remarkable new publishing company speaks to the hearts of so many parents who want inspiring stories for their daughters (and sons!) of remarkable women. The creators have taken stories from real life and turned them into fairy tales that will attract young readers. (Note: the heroines of these stories are queens, not princesses!) The poetic writing and and whimsical illustrations do have that magical quality of fairy tales, drawing the reader into a story about a character – the first African American female pilot – who is both larger than life and infinitely relatable.

I have a personal connection to the story of Bessie Coleman. She was from the same small town in Texas as my grandparents, though she had already left by the time they were born. When I think of how hard it was for my grandfather, a white male, to escape the poverty and depression of a sharecropper’s life there, the story of a young black woman making an even more incredible journey outward and upward is simply astonishing. I am so pleased to see this story given the attention it is due and happy to support the mission of Queen Girls to bring more such stories to light. Visit the Kickstarter page to order Bessie, Queen of the Sky and learn more about this remarkable company! (One copy of the book is donated to at risk girls for every copy that is purchased!)

Related Post: Biographies for Kids about Following Your Dreams

Imagine that the tragedies of history could somehow be redeemed, that not all of the slaves lost in the cataclysmic Atlantic crossings actually died, that not all of the “boat people” supposedly drowned while escaping the chaos of post-war Vietnam were really dead, but that they had somehow slipped through a portal into another world. In the wonderful new middle grade novel A Crack in the Sea readers can imagine a Second World where some of the First World’s victims find refuge and rebuild an ideal society on a string of islands and a man-made floating “Raft World.” Yet always among some there is a yearning to return “home” and a selfish desire to do whatever it takes to get there.

The young protagonists of the story must discover how to stop the plot and save the people of Raft World while at the same time understanding how to make use of their supernatural gifts – or their lack of them. As they journey to find safety for their families, they must contend with the ruthlessness of slavers, disease, pirates, storms, hunger, thirst, and exhaustion. But the real journey is an emotional one, as they all struggle to find their place in this world (or another) and discover the depths of their own courage and what they are willing to fight – and die – for.

For more book recommendations, be sure to visit my Books for Kids board on Pinterest!

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