I was recently given an opportunity to review a book for Multicultural Children’s Book Day. More information on this special day is found below, including sponsor information and the mission of MCBD.
First, though, is the book I was gifted by the author, Lin Thomas. Her book, Every Sparrow was Made to Fly is the story of Sammy, a young Indian girl content with her life in her home city of Goa. She and her brother spend vacations at her uncle’s home on the beach, and it is her favorite spot in the world. Her world is happy; she loves her family, her home, her BFF, and her school. Her world turns upside down when she learns that her uncle will be selling his beach house and she and her family are moving to America.
Sammy is afraid of all the changes she is facing and convinces herself that she will not be successful at anything; her new school, finding friends, dancing, doing math correctly, or riding a bicycle. Her uncle gifted her a painting of his beach house, and there is a mystery surrounding it. As Sammy struggles to resolve her fears, the mystery of the painting begins to unravel step-by-step. As it does, Sammy learns to slowly trust herself, to face her fears and fly with her own wings, not those of self-doubt.
From the very first page, Sammy’s story was sweetly captivating. Her sweet, shy, innocent awkwardness is endearing, and her love of mystery stories reminded me of my own fascination with such stories at the same age as she. When I was young I loved Trixie Belden mysteries, and this story reminds me, just a little, of the first book in that series – a young girl loves to solve intriguing puzzles, and wants a best friend more than anything in the world. In the story Every Sparrow Was Made to Fly there is the added level of Sammy’s belief that she is the wrong shape and size, that she will never fit in with her new American classmates, or that her accent might be too much for her new American life. She fears that she is too old to learn how to ride a bike and that her love of Bollywood will be unacceptable in her new world.
There is a beautiful conclusion and Afterward to the story, as Sammy and her new friends finally solve the mystery of the painting. This is a beautifully written story that can teach several valuable lessons to willing learners, but it also gives wonderful insights on what it is like to be a newcomer in a strange, new world. We learn small details of what it is like growing up in India, and also what it is like to transition to America. Sammy learns that fears are fears, no matter who we are, or what we look like on the outside, and it does not matter which side of the ocean we are born on. Finding one’s own wings and flying on our own takes courage, trust, faith, and friendship.
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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.
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 works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday....
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/27/19 at 9:00pm. E.S.T.
Join the conversation and win one of 12 five book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12 books) that will be given away at the party! We will be giving away a prize every 5 minutes!
I enjoyed this lovely story of a young girl and her family who move to America from India. Vivid descriptions and the struggles of adjusting to a new culture kept me captivated and interested. Good story about friendship. I enjoyed the mystery of the painting and the special helper (in the form of a sparrow). Young readers will enjoy this easy reading tale.
Lin Thomas recently gifted me a copy of her book, Every Sparrow Was Made to Fly, in conjunction with Multicultural Children's Book Day.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (13): Every Sparrow Was Made to Fly is a mystery and story of self discovery, but it also incorporates themes of friendship, culture, and personal challenge. Sammy shows determination, looking past the life changes of her American journey and never giving up on reaching her goals.