In 2011, the United Nations issued a proclamation that October 11th would be declared the International Day of the Girl Child. It's prime directives are raising awareness about issues that imperil girls around the world and promoting equal access to opportunities and fair treatment. A strong supporter for the initiative is the Canadian government through the office of Status of Women. Visit their website for more information. Children's books that focus on some of the issues that face girls in third world countries are plentiful. A few I would recommend include:
Wanting Mor by Rakhsana Khan (823 K527W FIC) A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (823 P218L FIC) Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan (823 W571H6 FIC) Sold by Patricia McCormick (823 M137S FIC) An Equal Chance for Girls and Women by Judith Anderson (323.352 AnE 2010) Girls from first world nations also face inequities and discrimination. I would recommend the following books: Tyranny by Lesley Fairfield (823 F161T FIC) There's a Girl in My Hammerlock by Jerry Spinelli (823 Sp46T FIC) Sticks and stones by Beth Goobie (823 G59S FIC) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (823 An243S FIC) I would love to hear of other recommendations.
I often don’t
follow up with sequels, mostly due to lack of time.But I’m really happy that I picked up White
Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages (823 K661W FIC) the sequel to The Green Glass Sea (823 K661G FIC).
We pick up
with Dewey Kerrigan and the Gordon family after they’ve move from Los Alamos to
Alamogordo, New Mexico after the end of World War
II. Dewey is feeling very comfortable
with the family who has taken her in after her father was accidentally killed
by a car. Dewey and Suze have grown closer
and it’s a delight to read about their
relationship, especially as they work together building a very
inventive, mechanical wall, with
each girl doing her own thing.
Dewey is the inventor who loves all things mechanical and Suze is a
budding artist who looks to understand her world through her art work.
many secondary storylines that engage and preoccupy our two main characters:
Suze’s growing friendship with a Hispanic girl and awareness of racial
inequality, Suze’s jealousy over Dewey’s closeness with her mother, Dewey’s
concern over her own birth mother’s reappearance in her life after abandoning
her when she was two, Mrs Gordon’s concern and activism to raise awareness
about the horrors of the nuclear bomb, Mr. Gordon’s increasing excitement as he
works further with nuclear technology building rockets to protect the United States
from Communist USSR, a growing distance between Mr. and Mrs. Gordon based on
their positions about nuclear technology, and an ethical dilemma involving
Nazis now living in the US and helping the Americans build rockets.
sounds like a lot but it all works seamlessly, just the stuff of everyday
living for two pre-teen girls with the usual parental background noise layered
with a bit of current events of the time.
I love the
science and art connections of this book.
The family relationships seem real and caring. The resolutions to some of the storylines
also ring true with no pat answers and concessions being made. The writing is strong and draws us into this
time period with ease.
I highly recommend this novel for the middle grades.
I also recommend Countdown by Deborah Wiles
(823 W648C FIC) that deals more directly with the cold war of the 1960s.
I am the reference coordinator at The Doucette Library of Teaching Resources, a curriculum library in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary.
I love connecting education students and teachers with engaging and exciting resources for classroom teaching. I believe that resources that get me excited (or those that get you excited) are the ones with the best potential to get kids interested in learning about - well, everything. Finding those books that connect to the real world are the ones I enjoy promoting the most.