Read, Discuss, and Do with MARI IN THE MARGINS

By Marci Whitehurst The best books make readers feel like they aren’t alone. They’re seen. Understood. Our very own  Rebecca J. Gomez  accomplishes this flawlessly in Mari in the Margins , her new middle grade novel in verse, published by Bandersnatch Books. It releases May 14 th !  Here’s a snippet about the novel, which you’ll surely want to READ:   For Marivel Jiménez, life in her big family is full of chaos. Feeling overlooked by her parents and overshadowed by her siblings is frustrating, and it's even worse to have the constant attention of her annoying, mischievous three-year-old sister, Susana.  Caught between her need to be noticed and her dream of having time to herself, Marivel pours herself into poetry and, eventually, art journaling. When she hears of a school-wide poetry contest, she sees winning as a chance to escape the margins of her family and finally be seen. Doesn’t that sound amazing? That’s because it is. I was honored to read the book ahead of its release—and

Using Books to Grow Little Hearts of Gratefulness

by Trine Grillo

Our desire at Read, Discuss, Do is to support everyone who reads with children in extending the magic of story time beyond the last page.

The lovely season of autumn arrives rushing us into the holidays at full speed. To my disappointment, Thanksgiving seems to get lost somewhere between Halloween and Christmas. Thanksgiving week is a wonderful time to push pause during the holiday chaos and model a thankful spirit to the young people in our lives.

As I read to children about this holiday, I also take the opportunity to especially appreciate our Native American friends and those of their ancestors who taught so much to the early pilgrims as they settled into this new world.

Read, Discuss, Do is an easy tool for nurturing the little hearts in your care to grow in gratefulness. 

This year I will be sharing these two story gems I discovered at the library where I work my day job.


We Are Grateful by Traci Sorell and illustrator Frané Lessac takes us on a journey through the seasons with the Cherokee people celebrating their many blessings and reflecting on lessons from their past. They say “otsaliheliga” to express gratitude.


What words do you use to express gratitude?

What was your favorite thing about this past year?


Make a poster of thankful words. Add colorful drawings of the things you are most thankful for this past year.


The Thank you Book by Mo Willems is delightful. Piggie comes to the realization that he is “one lucky pig” and sets out to thank every one he knows. His practical friend Elephant is a bit skeptical that he can accomplish this.


Who are you thankful for?

Can you think of something special to do for that person?


Make a list of people you are thankful for (grandparent, neighbor, teacher, pastor, friends, classmates, coach, doctor, grocery checker, shop owner, policeman, fireman…). Like Piggie, set out to thank one or more of them either with a visit, a call, or a handmade card. 

May your hearts grow even fuller in gratefulness and may you have too many blessings to count.


Do you have any favorite books to nurture gratefulness? We'd love to hear about them!


Trine Grillo said…
Thanks, Tina. I am enjoying these two books.
Mindy Baker said…
Thanks for sharing about these wonderful books!
Trine Grillo said…
Thank you , Mindy. I hope you can find them and read this holiday.