Books Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Two Great Books to Learn about China

Two Great Books to Learn about China

I have two great little books that are similar to something you would pick up in a museum gift shop if traveling to another country. I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that when I travel I always come home with a book related to my destination.  I have not been to China, but I would love to receive little books like this from any friend who’s traveled there.

What Was It Like, Mr. Emperor?: Life in China’s Forbidden City

What Was It Like Mr. Emperor by  Chiu Kwong-chiu

The book discusses the hows and whys and whats of being an emperor in China, starting back centuries to modern day. It is amazing to learn how many emperors China has had and also their history.  Much of the book will be over little kids’ heads but the comic illustrations help with understanding.  A brilliant foldout in the center of adds to the charm of the book. Did you know that emperors have numerous wives and sub wives and servants all kinds of staff? It’s mindboggling. Also, some of the emperors earned their titles in not nice ways and some emperors were downright bad leaders.

So great introduction to Chinese history. This is a coffee table book that you will read over and over because it contains so much good stuff. I don’t think it’s meant to be read in one sitting.

Next up is the adorable Bowls of Happiness.

Bowls of Happiness by Brian Tse

Intertwined with the history of Chinese bowls is the story of little piggy and her special bowl. It’s so cute! Did you know that colors and symbols have great significance in China? Yeah I didn’t and now I want my own special bowl of happiness. The beautiful watercolor illustrations are too rich to be left in a child’s bookshelf. Leave this book on the coffee table too. Next time you’re eating from a bowl, take notice of the decorations; there could be hidden meanings.

These two books are a good fit for the Diversity Reading Challenge!

Perfect for the study of Chinese holidays too, I think?

2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Books Young Adult

What’s In My Ear: Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

There are lots of good and bad slave narratives out there. Lucky for you I stumbled across a good one:

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper

Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper


Here’s a bit about the book:

Amari’s life was once perfect. Engaged to the handsomest man in her tribe, adored by her family, and living in a beautiful village, she could not have imagined everything could be taken away from her in an instant. But when slave traders invade her village and brutally murder her entire family, Amari finds herself dragged away to a slave ship headed to the Carolinas, where she is bought by a plantation owner and given to his son as a birthday present.

Survival seems all that Amari can hope for. But then an act of unimaginable cruelty provides her with an opportunity to escape, and with an indentured servant named Polly she flees to Fort Mose, Florida, in search of sanctuary at the Spanish colony. Can the elusive dream of freedom sustain Amari and Polly on their arduous journey, fraught with hardship and danger?

Don’t be fooled by the sweet cover: there are mature topics like rape and murder that might not be suitable for younger readers. I would say 14 maybe? But oh what a great story. I loved hearing about the journey from the two different character’s points of view.  More people need to read this book and it would be a great addition to any study on the South and slavery.

Get this sleeper today!