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

Summer Challenge Week Seven: Nuts About Nature!

This week's Summer Challenge theme is nuts. Nuts about Nature, that is! Whether you are heading to the mountains for a week of camping or simply exploring your back yard, there's a lot to appreciate about the natural world all around you. We encourage you to read some nature-themed books and then head outside to explore.

Ideas for books to read:

  • Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Berkes, illustrated by Jill Dubin. A charming book about exploring the forest, patterned after the song Over in the Meadow.
  • A Nest is Noisy by Diana Hutts Aston, illustrated by Sylvia Long. Lovely illustrations and a simple, informative text about various kinds of nest. Read the sidebars for more detailed information.
  • Bear Island by Matthew Cordell. A story about a young girl grieving the loss of a pet, who finds solace and healing in nature.

Ideas for things to discuss:

  • What is something new you learned from reading this book?
  • Do you enjoy exploring nature? Why or why not?
  • What are some ways you can help take care of the environment?
  • Have you ever seen a deer while out walking? What other kinds of creatures have you spotted while out exploring the natural world?

Ideas for things to do:

  • Go for a walk on a nature trail. Take note of the different critters you see.
  • Participate in a neighborhood or park clean-up. Maybe organize one yourself!
  • Head out to the backyard with a magnifying glass. Take a close look at bugs, plants, fallen feathers--anything you find!
  • Visit a zoo or nature preserve.
  • Watch a nature documentary.
  • Get creative! Make leaf rubbings or a nature collage. 
Do you have a favorite book that fits this week's theme? Tell us about it in the comments. You can also share on social media with the hashtag #RDDSummerChallenge.


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