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

Snack and Story Time: Scarecrow Haystacks

by Mindy Baker

The Scarecrow written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by The Fan Brothers is a fall favorite that runs deep with an important message about friendship. Because Scarecrow looks scary, no one enters the field to be near him. One day, a baby crow drops into the field, injured. When the scarecrow shows kindness and helps the baby crow, it is the beginning of a special friendship. What will happen when the crow is healthy enough to fly away?

Read: The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry and illustrated by The Fan Brothers

  • Why doesn’t Scarecrow have any friends?
  • Who took care of the crow?
  • Why did the crow leave?
  • How did Scarecrow feel when the crow left?
  • What happened in the end to make Scarecrow feel good? Even though Scarecrow looked scary, how did he show he was friendly?
  • Have you ever met someone that you thought was going to be mean but ended up becoming one of your good friends? Tell about it.
Do: Make no bake haystack cookies!
  • 1 10 oz bag chow mein noodles
  • 1 pkg butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • Handful of roasted peanuts (optional)

Melt the chips on the stove, using a double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, use very low heat and stir the chips constantly so they don't burn. You can also use the microwave. Stir in the peanut butter, then mix in the rest of the ingredients. Drop onto waxed paper to cool. 

(Recipe credit to


Marci said…
I love this book! It's beautiful and emotional--a strong friendship story!
Rebecca Gomez said…
Marci, I agree! And it's so beautifully illustrated.