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Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson

This book is about a boy and his grandma who live in a city and the story is about
their adventure on the bus to the soup kitchen. They meet people on the bus who have
some disabilities (a blind man so sees the world through his ears, a man in a wheelchair)
and a guitar player. They see different parts of the city when they get off the bus, and CJ
asks why its dirty. Nana explains that sometimes when youre surrounded by dirt, youre
a better witness for what is beautiful. The message is that beautifulness is surrounding
them everywhere, and that you can find beauty in everything. They end up at the soup
kitchen and serve food to the people. I think this book would be good for the
Kindergarten level because it has some great dialogue, some more challenging words
above their reading level and it poses some great discussion. 3 key words or phrases I
would chose to represent this book would be beauty is everywhere, diversity, and
insightful because I believe this book helps kids recognize that life and this world is a gift
no matter of your situation; that there are many different kinds of people in this book who
live their lives; and insightful because this gives an insight to a world of a city
atmosphere with city bus public transportation which is something the kids in my
practicum class might not see everyday. This author is very experienced as well (this
book has a Newbery medal). This book was also published recently, in 2015.
Evaluation of the book: I think that this book would be interesting to children,
especially in my class since it is a look at a life in a more metro area, something different
from their experience. This book definitely offers a variety of children to question or
consider, especially since there are people with disabilities in this book and they dont see
many kids in their classrooms with a physical disability. However, they may know
someone with a disability. I think the characters are realistic and that the book is
appropriate for the kindergarten age group. The illustrations are filled with color and
represent true diversity since nobody looks the exact same, and correspond to the text.
Multiple cultures are represented; the children will be exposed to different values and
cultures through this book. There might be a negative stereotype with African Americans
living in a city, however they are going to serve at the soup kitchen and not eat there so I
dont think that its a negative. I think this is a great book that represents many kinds of
people in a very understanding way. I think my kids would like this book!
Use for the book: I think that this would be a good read aloud book and we can do
an activity afterwards where the kids can draw something that they think is beautiful.
SOLs:
Oral Language:
a) Use words to describe/name people, places, and things.
b) Listen and speak in informal conversations with peers and adults.
c) Begin to ask and answer questions about what is read.
d) Discuss characters, setting, and events.
Saturday Sancocho by Leyla Torres
This book is about a girl who is making Sancocho (a Latino stew) with her
grandparents. It is a Saturday tradition in their family. Leyla Torres is from Columbia, so
this book is a good representation of the Latino culture. When they go to make the stew,
the family realizes they only have eggs. They go to the market to find a different way to
make their Sancocho. In this book, children get to see tradition, family structures and

different kinds of foods. I would say that this book is appropriate for the kindergarten
level, maybe to first or second grade. There is some nice dialogue as well. I would use the
words Tradition, Family, and Cultural to describe this book because Maria Lili is with her
grandparents making this classic Saturday dish, and it is cultural because Sancocho is a
typical Latino food which I remember learning about in my Spanish classes growing up.
Evaluation of the book: I would say that this book is interesting to children
because it is a window to another culture that they may not be as familiar with. There is a
new student in my class from Guatemala, so I also feel like he could connect to this book
as well. I think this offers a variety of things to talk about, such as family traditions, foods
we eat, and things we do with our family members. This book also has a nice plot since
there is a beginning, a problem, and a resolution, which is interesting to follow. I think
the language is appropriate for the children as well and we can talk about some of these
words with them. This book also offers realistic characters. The illustrations are accurate
during the course of the entire book, and respond to the text. They are bold and use many
colors. This book focuses mainly on Latino groups, and the children will be exposed to
different perspectives of tradition and family values. I dont believe that there are any
negative stereotypes associated with this book. I think that this book would be a good use
to connect my Latino students with their other classmates as well. The author is also apart
of the group that is being represented. I would use this book to do an activity about
family, or traditions with the kids. We could talk about the kids of traditions, what they
are, why they are important, and the types of traditions we do with our families. Three
key words I would use to describe this book would be Latino, Tradition, and family.
SOLS: Relate previous experiences to what is read (for my Latino students), Use
words to describe/name people, places, and things, develop an awareness that a map is a
drawing of a place to show where things are located and that a globe is a round model of
the Earth (we can show them where Latin America is in relation to the United states and
where they live in Virginia).
The Market Bowl by Jim Averbeck
The author is from the United States but joined the Peace Corps and lived in
Cameroon, where this book takes place, so I think that it is an accurate depiction of the
culture. This book also has some words from their language. Yoyo is the main character,
and she is making a stew to take to the market. She prices her stew too high (being
greedy) and she offended the Brother Coin, who blesses their bowls. Because she offends
him by rejecting a small offer for the stew, Brother Coin curses their market and she must
make the spirit forgive her so they can sell stew again. This story is a good family
dynamic for a mother and daughter working together. The mother goes to the market to
sell her stew. This book also has a pronunciation guide in the front to help with some of
the native words. I think that this book would be good for the kindergarten and first grade
age group. Three key words that I would use to describe this book would be unique,
cultural, and teaching tool because this book can show kids the dangers of being greedy,
and it is a cultural book written by a man that spent time in this country. I chose unique
because I do not know many books with a Cameroon backdrop or culture.
Evaluation of the book: I think that this book is interesting to children because its
about a culture that they have little to no knowledge about. This opens to door for
children to think about this life and ask many questions since this will most likely be their

first exposure to this culture. Children can understand what is represented because a child
is the main character. This plot definitely has a problem and resolution, and the characters
are realistic. I think that this book is accurate in terms of setting, plot, and characters
since the author lived in this country. The illustrations correspond to the text and enhance
the story so the children can get a visual idea of what Cameroon is like. Children are
exposed to different perspectives and values, the lifestyle is genuine, and the characters
speech definitely reflects their culture and oral traditions. Again, the author was a part of
the group represented. I think that this book would be a good read a loud book and also
can be used to talk about different cultures, and greed. Three key words I would use to
describe this book would be Family, greed, and problem solving.
SOLs: Geography: describe places referenced in stories and real-life situations;
Oral Language: Use words to describe/name people, places, and things, Discuss
meanings of words.
Dear Juno by Soyung Pak, illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
This book is about a boy who receives a letter from his Grandma, and he uses
context clues to figure out what the letter will be about since he cant read Korean. His
grandma sends a picture and a flower, which help him learn what her letter says without
reading it. He decides to write his grandma back, and draws a picture as his letter. He
puts it in the mail, and he gets a letter back from his Grandma, where she sends him
colored pencils and lets Juno know that she is coming to visit him, and Juno dreams
about her. This book takes place in Seoul, South Korea, where the author is original from
before she moved to southern New Jersey. I think that this book would be good to share
with the students since the author has a great sense of where the book is placed. This
book won an Ezra Jack Keats award, as well. I think that this book would work well for
the kindergarten level to first grade level.
Evaluation of the book: I think this book will be interesting to children because it
is a culture probably none of them heard of before. It also can open up to a lot of
conversation about writing letters, why people write letters, how that used to be the way
of communication, and what life is like in Seoul. We can talk about where it is on the
map. I wouldnt say there is a problem and a resolution, but I guess Juno not being able to
read the letters but interpreting it but picture can be a problem and resolution. I think the
language is appropriate for children this age and has realistic characters. The illustrations
are accurate in terms of setting, plot, and characters, and they correspond to the text. The
illustrations are soft, be detailed. The characters dont represent a variety of cultural
groups, but they represent the South Korean culture. Children are exposed to a family life
where the family is connected by writing. I think that the lifestyles of the characters are
genuine as well. There is a good use of dialogue and the author is apart of the group
represented. I think this book would be well used for a read aloud and a great group
discussion about writing letters, communicating and family. I would like to read this
book and then have the kids write their own letters home to their family about what they
have learned at school that day, or write pictures to show their favorite activity that they
did that day. I think that would be a fun and creative activity for them. Three words I
would use to describe this book would be family, writing, and infer since Juno infers
from pictures what his grandma is saying.

SOLs: Participate in group and partner discussions about various texts and topics,
identify what an author does and what an illustrator does, relate previous experiences to
what is read, the student will develop an awareness of maps and globes.
Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema, llustrated by Beatriz Vidal
This book is about a cattle herder wishing for rain to come over the African plain.
This story is fairly straightforward but has a poetic vibe to it. This book is set in Kenya,
and the grass and animals are in need of rain. The book has vibrant illustrations and can
offer insight to resources that many of us take for granted. Many animals are featured as
well. This book is appropriate for the kindergarten to second grade level, in my opinion.
Evaluation of the book: I think that this book is interesting and would keep the
audiences attention. There are some words or phrases that we can talk about the
importance of rain and water. I think that this is age-appropriate and that the pictures can
help the students accurately understand what is happening in the story if they do not
understand all the words. There is a problem and a resolution; there are real and
convincing characters. The illustrations were definitely accurate in terms of setting, plot
and characters and they correspond to the text, as well as enhance the story. I wouldnt
say that the characters represent a variety of cultural groups, but the children are exposed
to multiple perspectives in that we take certain things for granted. She is not from the
area (Kenya) that she has written about, but she was very interested in other cultures and
set books in Africa and Mexico. I would use this book to talk about animals, weather, or
to start talking about poetry. I would also do an activity where the kids could make a
Kapiti Plain with animals. I think this book is good for the kindergarten/first grade age
group. Three words I would use to describe this book would be wildlife, life cycle, and
outdoors.
SOLs: Listen to a variety of literary forms, including stories and poems (this book
can be a poetry reading, in my opinion), ask about words not understood, use words to
describe/name location, size, color, and shape, identify words that rhyme.

Faraway Home by Jane Kurtz, Illustrated by E.B Lewis


This book is about a girl, Desta, and her Ethiopian culture. Her father has to go
back to Ethiopia to take care of his sick mother. He tells Desta stories about Ethiopia, and
the living conditions there. She learns that her fathers mother doesnt have electricity,
and that he would barefoot to and from school. At first, Desta doesnt want her father to
go because she is fearful of the conditions but realizes that her grandmother needs to be
taken care of. After her father tells her more stories about growing up in Ethiopia, she
begins to embrace it and even walks home from school barefoot just like her dad. This is
a good example of a father/daughter relationship story because they are the two main
characters and they are connecting together.
Summary of the book: I think that this book would be good because the author
grew up in the country that is represented in this book. I think that this book would be
interesting for children because again, it is a culture they have probably never heard of
before. I think they would find it really interesting that the dad would walk home from
school without shoes on. Going off of that idea, this book offers the children a variety to

think and talk about. It doesnt really have a typical problem and resolution, but it does
teach Desta about her culture which could be a problem-resolution in its own. The
characters are realistic and convincing, and the illustrations are beautiful. They represent
the setting, plot, and characters accurately and correspond to the text. The children will
definitely be exposed to different perspectives and values through this book, and the
author is apart of the group represented since she was raised there. She uses writing as an
outlet to tell Americans how life was lived there so this book would seem accurate. There
is diversity represented within cultural groups because there are Ethiopian Americans,
and the native Ethiopians that are discussed in this text. Three words I would use to
describe this book would be Father/Daughter relationship, family, and culture.
SOLs: Describe places referenced in real life situations and stories, develop an
awareness that a map is a drawing of a place to show where things are located, relate
previous experiences to what is read.
Under the Lemon Moon by Edith
This book is about a girl, Rosalinda, who notices a man taking lemons from her
lemon tree in her backyard at night. Since the man is taking lemons off of her tree, her
tree gets sick. She talks with her parents about what to do, and decides to seek the advice
of her grandma Abuela after talking to some neighbors. They light a candle for La
Anciana, who makes crops grow strong. Rosalinda and her hen Blanca went out the next
day trying to hear from La Anciana. While they are on theyre way home, they go
through the market and see the man who had been taking the lemons and he is selling
them in the market. La Anciana shows up in the market, and Rosalinda tells her story. La
Anciana proceeds to say her story, and la Anciana tells her how to heal her lemon tree.
She follows the instructions that La Anciana gave to her, and the next day she gives away
her lemons to her peers. She gives her last lemon to the night man, and tells him to plant
the lemon seeds. This book is a good lesson to help others and has a lot of Spanish words,
which will be great for the kids in my class that speak Spanish. I think this book would
for the kindergarten grade and bilingual students.
Evaluation of the book: I think this book is interesting to children, and offers them
a lot to think about in terms of helping others and what they can do to help. This book is
age appropriate and has a thick rich plot with a problem and resolution that the students
can follow. The language style is appropriate for the children and I like how there is a lot
of Spanish words that highlight the culture of this book. The characters are realistic and
convincing. The illustrations are also very detailed and represent the story well. I
wouldnt say that the characters represent a variety of cultures since this book focuses
mainly on Spanish culture. The children are exposed to the values of forgiveness and
giving, which is something we could discuss as a class. I do not believe that there are any
negative stereotypes associated with the group represented. The lifestyles represented
seem genuine and complex since there is a problem occurring in the book. The characters
definitely represent their culture and oral traditions since they are also speaking Spanish
in the book. I have been having some trouble finding a lot of information on the author,
but she studied at San Diego so its possible that she has been exposed to Spanish and
Latino culture. There is also a good diversity among the groups represented because some
of the characters are less fortunate as compared to Rosalinda and her family. Three words
I would use to describe this book would be compassion, sharing, and family.

SOLs: develop awareness that a map is a drawing of a place to show where things
are located, relate previous experiences to what is read, discuss characters, settings, and
events.

The Red Blanket by Eliza Thomas


This book is true story based on the adoption process that the author, Eliza
Thomas went through herself. I think this book would be great to use since it is a true
story showing the barriers between cultures and the true meaning of family. This book is
about a woman who has a desire to become a mom. One day, she gets a call from China
that her paperwork has been approved and that she will be adopting a girl named PanPan.
She gets her home ready for the babys arrival, including buying a red blanket. She
travels to China to start her family, however PanPan is not used to her new surroundings
and being with a new adult and does nothing but cry. Finally, she remembers she has the
red blanket and gives it to PanPan and she stops crying. This is the moment that you can
see they have become a family because the mother is able to comfort PanPan. This book
is great for discussing other family dynamics and that a family can be whatever you want
it to be. A family is love, no matter the relation. I think this would be a good book to
share with my practicum class but they might be a little young to understand about
adoption, and Im not sure if there are any adopted students in the class. I think this is
appropriate for K-3 and I would like to see them draw their family after reading the book.
This is a good outlet to talk about all types of families! Three words I would use to
describe this book would be family, togetherness, and home.
Evaluation of the book: This book would be interesting to children because it
talks about a different kind of family and goes into detail about adoption, something that
might be new to them which can offer a variety of things to talk about. I think the plot of
the story is good for this age group and includes a problem and resolution. The characters
are realistic and convincing. This book represents a variety of cultural groups (American
and Chinese) and the children are exposed to the perspectives of families and adoptions. I
dont believe that there are any negative stereotypes from this book. However, kids might
think that they can only adopt from foreign countries or that is where adoption occurs
even though it is also in America. The characters are genuine, and the speech represents
their culture. The illustrations are also beautiful!
SOLs: relate previous experiences to what is read, Discuss meanings of words.,
Participate in group and partner discussions about various texts and topics,
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad by James Rumford




This is one of the first Childrens literature books I have come across with
Afghanistan roots, and I think that is pretty special considering this area of the world is
experiencing so many situations. This book is about a boy named Ali who lives in
Baghdad and loves to play soccer and write calligraphy. He talks about his love for
writing, and loves to write on any kind of paper or even in the bathroom mirror. He talks
about some brief history how the Mongols invaded Afghanistan and his hero, writer
Yakut took refuge in a high tower and wrote to drown out the sorrows of war. He
compares that to 2003 when bombs and missiles were falling. Ali copied his hero and

filled his paper will calligraphy and peace. He practices writing to keep his mind off the
bad. This story is probably a little mature for the Kindergarten grade but I think that it has
a positive message on the power of writing. I would say this book is suitable for maybe
first or second grade through even middle school. I would use this book to introduce
cursive writing to the class or practice the calligraphy style writing. Three words I would
use to describe this book would be writing, peace, and life.
Evaluation of the book: I think that this book is interesting to children and can
introduce how important writing can be. This book definitely offers a variety to talk
about: war, how heroes impact us, writing, calligraphy, other cultures, and many more.
This book is probably not that suitable for kindergarten but can be used in upper
elementary to start practicing cursive. The plot is pretty easy to follow and there is a
problem and a resolution, and the resolution is writing. The characters are also realistic
and convincing. This book is accurate in terms of plot, setting and characters to my
knowledge as the author James Rumford has studied calligraphy, many different
languages and has lived in Afghanistan and many other countries as well. The drawings
correspond to the text and add to the childrens interest since there are Arabic words on
the page. There isnt a great variety of cultural groups represented, but the children would
be exposed to multiple perspectives and values. The negative stereotype of war in this
part of the world can be associated with this text, however Ali loves to play soccer
outside like a normal kid anywhere else in the world would too. The characters accurately
represent their culture and the author has been a part of the group represented which is
good.
SOLs: relate previous experiences to what is read, discuss meanings of words,
Participate in group and partner discussions about various texts and topics.
Rain School by James Rumford
This story is based on James Rumfords experiences living and teaching in Chad.
This story starts at the beginning of the school year and the big brothers and sisters are
leading the way to school. When they arrive, they notice that there is no school, and they
build the school themselves out of mud. They learn the alphabet and many other things
during the course of their time at school. When the school year is over, a massive
rainstorm comes and destroys the school. When the school year starts over, they do it all
over again. This book talks about overcoming the adversities to learn. I think this book
would be a perfect fit for kindergarten and first grade-aged children, possibly second. I
think this book would be used to talk about different kinds of schools, schools around the
world, and how kids in other countries. Three words I would use to describe this book
would be education, teacher/student relationships, and culture.
Evaluation of the book: I think this book gives the kids a lot to think and talk
about because their schooling experience is so different from the one provided in the
book. It is age appropriate and they can understand what is represented from the
vocabulary and detailed drawings. There is a problem and solution with building the
school after the rain, and the characters are realistic. Again, the author is offering his real
experiences from his time here so he is apart of what is being represented. The drawings
enhance the story and are accurate in terms of setting, plot and characters. The children
are exposed to different perspectives of school. I believe that a negative aspect that might
be pulled could be that all African countries are poor and dont have quality resources.

There is diversity represented within the group in that boys and girls are attending school
and the lifestyles of the characters are genuine.
SOLs: develop awareness that a map is a drawing of a place to show where things
are located, relate previous experiences to what is read, Participate in group and partner
discussions about various texts and topics.