I am so happy to be participating in this year's Multicultural Children's Book Day (MCCBD).
The MCCBD team’s mission is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.
The novel I was given to read and review is called Cry of the Sea written by D.G. Driver. The story centers around very important environmental issues affecting our world today. It also deals with typical social problems all high school students deal with, as well as conflict with parents, first loves, and the somewhat stressful process of deciding on future aspirations.
June Sawfeather is a high school senior in Washington state with Chinook ancestry. What makes June stand apart from her fellow classmates is the unusual fact that her parents are well known environmental activists. It is a lifestyle that, unfortunately, has caused her to be a social outcast at school. While she loves and appreciates what her parents do, she struggles with her desire to go her own path and not live in their shadow any longer.
All arguments and self-doubts are put aside when she and her father respond to an oil spill just off the coast. The shocking discovery of mermaids in distress over the oil spill will take hold of their lives as they try to protect the mermaids yet use proof of their existence at the same time for the overall good of the oceans. Just maybe the possibility of human-like creatures living in the oceans will make people more responsible.
"The legends of our people do not require proof, June. You need to learn that. They require only faith and understanding." ~ Cry of the Sea
I really loved the way Driver incorporated statements about oil companies and the long-standing impact that oil spills and corporate cover-ups have on the environment. This is a great way for teen readers to learn about this ongoing real world issue while relating to a very likable protagonist in June. I also enjoyed the references to the Native American culture and wished Driver had added more of them.
I felt the story started out strong but toward the end the momentum seemed to fizzle out a bit. However, overall, the novel does a great job of providing a fun, fictitious plot combined with real and serious concerns facing our world today. I believe the target audience of middle and high school teens will thoroughly enjoy this novel and believe teachers may certainly use it as a stepping stone to discussing the plight of our environment and things we can do to help protect and save it.
I strongly encourage teens to become active in environmental issues. A simple way to do so is to organize a local beach clean-up with your school or outside organization. The future of our planet depends on the compassion and action of today's youth.
Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld
Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*Live Oak Media
Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Host and you can us the links below or view them here: