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 Three: You're Super, Hero!

by Marci Whitehurst

Welcome to week THREE of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge! It’s super hero week!

Heroes are people who help others, especially when helping might be difficult or scary (or, for heroes like a firefighter, even dangerous). Who are your heroes?

Summer schedules often mean park days, traveling, and time outside—all of which are super fun! We’ll highlight some of these themes throughout our summer reading challenge. As we go about our activities, let’s also consider HOW we do them. How can we be someone’s hero?

Suggestions for books to READ:


This story shares the rules that a young child, Lava Boy, and Captain Magma see for being a super hero. Rule #1: A superhero must ALWAYS respond to a call for help.

SUPER HERO INSTRUCTION MANUAL by Kristy Duncan Dempsy, illustrated by Mark Fearing 

A comic book style with funny illustrations and instructions for what’s most important for being a super hero. Step 3: Craft a super disguise!

SUPER ROOSTER SAVES THE DAY by Maureen Wright, illustrated by Rob McClurkan 

A humorous story full of farm puns, the chicken dance, and a rooster who’s certain he’s a hero—until he realizes sometimes you need a friend to be a hero.

MAX AND THE SUPER HEROES by Rocio Bonilla and Oriol Malet 

In this charmer, Max admires a girl super hero, even though his friends aren’t sure a girl can be strong. However, Megapower is brave, tames animals, has x-ray vision, is super smart, and she can fly. She’s Max’s favorite. Maybe because she’s his mom.

Suggestions for things to DISCUSS:
  • If you could be a super hero, who would you be? Why?
  • What powers would you have?
  • What powers do you already have?
  • What super heroes do you look up to? Why?
  •  If you could be a hero for someone this week, what would you want to do?
Suggestions for things to DO:
  • Create a costume for your super hero or dress up as a super hero.
  • Make up a special super hero name for yourself.
  • Write a list of super hero traits that you admire.
  • Make up your own rules for how to be a super hero.
  • Declare a day this summer as super hero day! Maybe a day this week!