Run for It: Stories of Slaves Who Fought for Their Freedom by Marcelo D’Salete

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Title: Run for It: Stories of Slaves Who Fought for Their Freedom by Marcelo D’Salete

Premise:

This book contains four short stories about slavery in Brazil and the way that slaves resisted it to the best of their ability.  Chapters include: Kalunga, Sumidouro, Cumbe, and Malungo.

My thoughts:

This was an interesting read, and I’m still not sure exactly how to process it.  It’s a story told mostly in pictures with minimal text, and you really have to read between the lines and study the pictures to know what is happening.  It’s not really a book about right and wrong.  Readers are shown some very difficult situations and experiences, and how people reacted under those circumstances.  Sometimes violence begets violence.  The stories don’t have warm, cushy endings.  However, they do show the resilience of those who languished under slavery and their determination to be free from oppression.  It shines a glaring light on the moral corruption which accompanies slavery.

Certainly, you have to read the two short introductory blurbs at the beginning of the book to get the context for the stories.  Even then, there is a lot of background information which isn’t included.  I wish there had been a bit more about Brazil’s history with slavery, but maybe this book could be seen as a jumping off point for readers to seek out additional sources.

The drawings are in black and white, so even in the scenes with violence you don’t see graphic blood or anything.  Also, the drawings are somewhat stylized, so things that might be too much if done with a lot of detail are less offensive to look at.

I recommend Run For It to older teens and adults who want to learn more about slavery and resistance.  It wasn’t just an issue in the United States, but that’s where a lot of the currently available literature takes place.  Also a note on the possible objection of seeing a woman’s bare chest–this book adopts the traditional African view of a woman’s chest being utilitarian more than erotic.  It’s for feeding children and there’s nothing shameful or sexually charged in that.

Possible Objections:

  • Some violence
  • Bare women’s chests
  • A couple of rape scenes (not graphic)

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

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More Perfect than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan

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Title: More Perfect than the Moon by Patricia MacLachlan

Notable: Book #4 in the Sarah, Plain and Tall series

Premise:

Cassie Witting is now the family member whose responsibility it is to write in the journal.  Cassie enjoys observing others and writing make-believe stories about them.  When Cassie finds out that Sarah is going to have a baby, she thinks the baby will come between herself and her mama.  She hopes that if she makes up her own story about the baby, perhaps nothing will change and that Sarah will still love her best.

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book as a continuation of the previous three in the series.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t my favorite in the series.  I think it was because there was so very little that actually happened in the plot line.  It’s basically about Sarah getting pregnant, the difficulties she has as an older pregnant woman, and Cassie’s resentment about the new baby.  It’s a nicely done story, and I can see it being a good read for a child who isn’t thrilled with the idea of a new baby being added to their family.

Probably the most satisfying part of the story for me, was in seeing Grandfather’s role in the family expand.  In the last book he had just been fully admitted as a member of the Witting family, but in this book he has really found his position in the family.  He’s a confidant and mentor to the children, a helper to the adults, and a patriarch to the whole Witting family.

I recommend More Perfect than the Moon to kids who are reading beginner chapter books, or as a touching family read aloud.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Until next time…

Lori

OTHER SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL SERIES POSTS:

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer

New Baby-w

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The New Baby is another book that I enjoyed as a kid.  In fact, this is the very copy that I read back then, with my name printed inside the front cover.  I loved, loved, loved this book.  Maybe it was because of the cute baby, maybe it was the fun illustrations, maybe it was the goofiness of it.  Or maybe a combination off all three.

In this book Critter gets a new baby sister.  He tries to interact with her, but discovers that there are many things she isn’t able to do yet.  However, he also discovers that she can do some fun things like cuddle, laugh, and go for a walk in her stroller.  At first Critter is a bit put off by her stinky diapers and crying, but he learns that babies can be enjoyable, too.

This is a good book for a child who is expecting a new baby in the house.  The text is very short and the pictures are great!

Until next time…

Lori

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The Donkey’s Christmas Song by Nancy Tafuri

Christmas Song

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The Donkey’s Christmas Song is a really simple Christmas book for kids.  It’s about the animals welcoming baby Jesus at his birth.  There are doves, a cow, goats, sheep, chicks, mice, and a donkey.  The donkey is shy because he thinks his “song” will be too loud.  However, the baby really likes it!

My favorite part was when the donkey and baby Jesus cuddled.  I would recommend it for toddlers and younger kids.

Toodles,

Jewls & Lori

The Complete Book of First Experiences by Anne Civardi

First Experiences

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The Complete Book of First Experiences is a fun book about many new experiences that kids may have.  It has stories about going to the hospital, going to the doctor, going to school, going to the dentist, having a baby, moving, getting a new puppy, going on a plane, and going to a party.

The illustrations are by Stephen Cartwright and they are so cute.  They have a lot of detail and are really fun to look at.  There’s also a little yellow duck for you to find on each two-page spread.

I like this book because it’s fun and exciting.  It’s good for preschool up to school-age kids.

Possible Objections:

  1. In the story about the new baby, the mom is shown breastfeeding her baby.  You can’t see a lot, but some people may not be comfortable with their child even knowing about how breastfeeding works.
  2. In the story about the party, some of the children are wearing Halloween costumes that some parents may not like (i.e. witch, vampire, ghost, monster).

 

Toodles,

Jewls