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 Ten: Books and Movies!

It's the final week of the Read, Discuss, Do! Summer Challenge, and we're going for low pressure, high fun with a Books and Movies theme! What better way to end a summer reading challenge than with a great family read followed by a night at the movies? There are so many great books that have been made into movies, but we couldn't recommend them all, so we chose a few favorites that would be especially good for the whole family, no matter the ages. Feel free to choose a book and movie not on this list! 

To read

HORTON HEARS A WHO by Dr. Seuss. This story about an elephant determined to save an entire tiny community is not only great for fostering lots of discussions, but it's also super fun to read aloud. And the movie is pretty great too. Lots of laughs and action!

THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo is a beautiful story about a heroic little mouse who sets out to rescue a princess. The animated movie is a charming delight too!

HOLES by Louis Sachar is a story about a young boy, Stanley Yelnats, who is wrongfully convicted of a crime and is sent to Camp Greenlake, where the boys there spend their days digging holes in the dirt. But there is so much more to this richly layered story full of mystery and laughs.

CHARLOTTE'S WEB by E. B. White. This classic story about the friendship between a pig and a spider is beloved by people across generations. Read the book and watch the old animated movie or the more recent (2006) live action film. Either would be a great choice!

A few other good ones: THE BFG by Roald Dahl, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE by Maurice Sendak, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE by C. S. Lewis, and for the older crowd, THE PRINCESS BRIDE by William Goldman.

To discuss:

  • Which character do you relate to the most? Why?
  • How do you picture the characters and the setting? 
  • If you were casting the parts for this movie, who would play the main characters? Where would you want to film the movie? 
  • Do you have a favorite book to film adaptation? 
To do
  • Watch the movie based on your chosen book! 
  • Make it a themed night, complete with costumes and book-themed snacks.
  • Come up with an idea for a trailer or advertisement for the movie.
  • Be a reviewer! Write or record a review for the movie.
  • Compare and contrast the book and movie. How different were they? Which did you enjoy more?