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 JimĂ©nez, 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

Summer Challenge Week Nine: Clever Creativity!

This week the Summer Challenge is all about creativity! Creativity is not just about art. It's about using your imagination to create something or to solve a problem (or both). We hope that this theme will inspire you to get creative with your kids. Read a book or books that feature creativity or clever problem-solving, then do something creative together. You could create a work of art, encourage your kids to build something amazing with blocks or play with loose parts, or think up a clever solution to a small problem (like how to arrange a bookshelf or keep the squirrels out of the garden). There's no end to the possibilities!

Ideas for books to read:

  • Drawn Together by Dan Santat, a family story in which art helps a grandfather and grandson cross the language barrier.
  • Fern and Horn by Marie-Louise Gay. This is an imaginative story about two siblings' creative competitiveness.
  • Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. A clever and creative story about knitting, and sharing, and spreading joy and color throughout your community.
  • Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Lee White. A story about a girl who comes up with a clever solution to a blustery problem.

Ideas for things do discuss:

  • Are artistic skill and creativity the same thing? Why or why not?
  • In what ways were the characters being creative in the story?
  • Everyone is creative in some way. What makes your creativity shine through?
  • Talk about a time during which you had to think creatively to solve a problem.
  • How can you combine creativity with other things, like math or cooking?

Ideas for things do do: 

  • Draw or paint a character from a book in a new scene or situation.
  • Brainstorm alternate endings to a story.
  • Do some research into how an illustrator created the pictures in one of your favorite books. Try that form of art yourself if possible.
  • Write and illustrate your own story.
  • Build a home for a book character out of blocks or craft materials.
  • Create a project inspired by the book, whether that book is about art, a clever invention, or some other way of being creative.
Have fun being creative this week! We'd love to hear about your clever creativity in the comments or on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.


Rum Tan said…
The summer challenge's main objective is creative development, which is very beneficial. Because it happens in such small, frequent bursts that are creating the habit of generating in you, you might not even be aware that having fun, exchanging ideas, and working under pressure is what will advance you. Always choose educational institutions and tuition that support children's creativity as a study topic.