Books and Bricks: How a School Rebuilt the Community

By Sindiwe Magona

Salmina Arenda's school was a scary place. The fence had holes, the walls needed paint, and the yard was full of weeds and rubbish. But things started to look up when the school received new computers. Then disaster struck the school! Now parents, teachers, and students alike must rally together to revive their school and community.

I loved this book for children. It's wonderful to read out loud. It's informative and includes a little bit of mystery that keeps the reader engaged. As the story unfolds it's heartwarming to see the transformation of the main characters from hopeless to hopeful about what a thriving school can do for the community.

Salmina is a very realistic and endearing lead character that children can relate to.  I give this book a 5 star rating because it's appealing, informative, and easy to read to schoolagers. It may take place across the world, but the emotions it evokes are completely close to home.

Books and Bricks: How a School Rebuilt the Community, is based on a true story, offers an inside view of life in post-apartheid South Africa. The book includes the inspiration for the story, a biography of Nelson Mandela, a glossary of Afrikaans words, discussion questions, and other resources.

Check out other books featured for Multicultural Children's Book Day

January 29, 2022


BOOK REVIEW: Mystery of the Golder Temple

By Lisa Travis

Mystery of the Golden Temple follows Jess Johnson, a nine-year old African-American girl traveling with her mother and brother from Boston to Thailand. In Chiang Mai, Thailand, Jess meets Nong May, the Thai daughter of her mom's colleague, and her family. Nong May's family has been having a lot of bad luck since they lost a special amulet.

I loved the way this book took the children on a travel mystery that was interesting and inspired curiosity, but wasn't scary. And, the little bits of new language learning threaded throughout the book was great. When the children got to the end, they knew several new words.

The entire story was every day realistic with a down to earth girl and family. This held the children's interest because they could relate. Nothing was too foreign or exotic, which made It was an excellent read aloud book for my group.

The book was part of the Pack-n-Go series. Designed by girls for girls who love to play and travel, Pack-n-Go Girls engages the imagination of children ages 6-9 by introducing them to different countries around the world. Pack-n-Go Girls early chapter book adventures are packed with spooky mysteries, international friendships, and lots of fun and easy multicultural learning.

Check out other books featured for Multicultural Children's Book Day

January 29, 2022



  1. Thank you for participating in Multicultural Children's Book Day!


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