Thursday, June 11, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer series - books that feature black and brown girl characters - 6.11.2020

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This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

Welcome to week 2 of Chapter Book Summer!  I'm sharing a new roundup of chapter books, usually perfect for readers in grades 1-5, each week.

Today I am celebrating books that have black and brown girl main characters!

Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott
The Dragon Thief
written by Zetta Elliott
illustrated by Geneva B
Last week I reviewed Dragons in a Bag, and today I have the sequel.  While Jaxson still narrates some chapters, we also get to hear from Kavita, who is the character that takes one of the dragons at the end of Dragons in a Bag.  Kavita quickly learns that she is no way ready to take care of a dragon.  Good thing she has Aunty living with her who seems to surprisingly know just what to do.  
We're not quite done with the fantasy world just yet!  We get to go with Kavita and Jax and Vik as they meet even more fantastical characters and help bridge the world between reality and fantasy again.  While a third book in the series has not been announced, there is certainly an opening for more books in the series!

Dancing Queen by Kelly Starling Lyons
Jada Jones: Dancing Queen
written by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Nneka Myers
I've written about this series many times, but I just have to celebrate this next one!
Jada and the Council Crew are getting ready to celebrate Caring Week and are culminating it with a dance party.  Amongst other things they are collecting gently used coats and collecting donations to buy more coats.
Jada is so excited to be helping people, but one thing is making her very nervous.  She can't dance.  Everyone tries to help but it's with another fellow non-dancer does she meet a new friend and a co-sympathizer!
Another wonderful addition to this series.  You'll want to own all of the books in this series and read at least one of them outloud to your students.

Brand New School, Brave New Ruby by Derrick Barnes
Ruby and the Booker Boys: Brand-new School, Brave New Ruby
written by Derrick Barnes
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton
Before there was the award winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut there was Ruby and the Booker Boys.  This transitional chapter book series introduces us to the youngest and only girl sibling in the family, Ruby.  She is always in the shadows of her older brothers and now she'll even be attending the same school as them.  But never fear, Ruby has enough spunk to put her brothers in their place and find a way to stand out all on her own!
I wish Jada Jones and Ruby Booker would be in a book together.  They would be unstoppable!  
Look for Ruby and her brothers in this four book series.

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson
Ways to Make Sunshine
written by Renée Watson
illustrated by Nina Mata
I adored this book by Renée Watson!  She can write at any age and it will be amazing!  
Meet Ryan.  Her name means "king" and she tries to be the leader her name intends her to be.  However, that doesn't mean she has a few things to figure out.  Ryan and her family - mom, dad, and older brother, Ray - are moving into a new house.  A house that Ryan calls the new 'old' house, since it's smaller and older than their previous house.  Her dad has a new job, one that isn't paying as much, and it's time to watch their money.  But that doesn't mean they have to watch their love.  We see how much Ryan's parents care for her and her brother, although Ryan and Ray certainly have an up and down, typical brother-sister relationship.  Ryan gets to stay at her same school, which is good because one of her best friends goes there as well.  Her other best friend has moved, but they remain close.
The real life circumstances and relationships with her parents and friends are what will make readers love meeting Ryan.  She's not perfect and readers will love watching her make mistakes and then fix them.
It's a book about real life.  No huge plot, just lots of things that go together that make up life.  I can't wait to read more about Ryan!

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas
by Juana Medina
I hope you've read the adorable Juana and Lucas, because then you'll be ready for this follow-up!  Loosely based on her experiences growing up in Bogotá, Columbia, Juana writes about when her mother got remarried.  This is a reality for many young readers, and how wonderful to see it portrayed in a chapter book.  While Juana has some worries - she doesn't want to share her mother, she loves where she lives and doesn't want to have to move, and she really doesn't want to be a flower girl - she ends up being pleasantly surprised and finds more good things that come out of the new changes.  
I liked that this was an overall positive experience, but the story also explored the natural concerns that a child would have when they are getting a new step-parent.
I also like the way Medina uses Spanish vocabulary throughout the book.  It doesn't directly explain the word in English like you often see with a different language word, but a reader can use contextual cues to figure out what the word means.
Another brightly illustrated book from Medina!

Here is a list of other books that feature black or brown main characters that are girls.  I've covered these books in previous posts.

The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane by Nikki Shannon Smith
Stella Díaz series by Angela Dominguez
Lola Levine series by Monica Brown
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs series by Crystal Allen
Ana and Andrew series by Christine Platt
Yasmin series by Saadia Faruqi
Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj
Nina Soni series by Kashmira Sheth - look for this book in next week's roundup!

There are other books that feature black/brown girl main characters, however the authors are not black/brown.  I think it's important to amplify the voices of the black and brown community at this point.

In case you missed it, here's the link to last week's post - chapter books that feature black and brown boy main characters.

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

1 comment:

  1. These books sound wonderful! I've seen a lot of praise for Ways to Make Sunshine, and Juana and Lucas: Big Problemas sounds great as well! Also, I remember seeing and loving illustrations by the illustrator of Ruby and the Booker Boys in another book, coincidentally called Ruby Goldberg's Bright Idea. Thanks for the great post!