This is Week Se7en of our Read the World Book Club Series. For the next couple of weeks we are going to be posting a pile of our favourite books from each continent… and you are welcome to join us on our journey. This week we are journeying to Asia along with The Simple Homeschool Folk and #Giveyourchildtheworld.
Welcome to Central and South America
Like all good journeys we began with a feast… and you can’t beat wraps when it comes to feasting.
And of course Salsa…
And while you are celebrating, don’t forget the pinatas are very much associated with Mexican culture and they can be made over a period of weeks or days, or even minutes… here is a post that contains everything you need to know about making your own pinatas.
Our Favourite Books from Central and South America
Se7en + 1 Picture Books
South America, Everything you Ever Wanted to Know: Because Lonely Planet books are very fun reads and keep children engaged and spewing copious amounts of actual facts!!! This includes explorers, weird and wonderful creatures, snippets of history… it just goes on and on…
Up and Down the Andes by Laurie Krebs and Aurélia Fronty: This is one of the first books we ever reviewed on our blog… and it has been loved over and over again. Laurie Krebs winding rhythm that takes you on a journey up and down the Andes is just special in every way.
We’re Sailing to Galapagos by Laurie Krebs and Grazia Restelli: I collect islands and the Galapagos are islands that I would so love to visit… but in the meantime I would settle for this sweet rhyming book, telling us all about the weird and wonderful creatures that live there.
Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia by Jeanette Winter: this is the story of a librarian after my own heart… he collects and collects books until his house in Columbia literally overflows. He begins a traveling library, with the help of two donkeys he takes his books to children in remote villages… just everything to love.
Frida by Jonah Winter: A Biography of Frieda Kahlo for children… this is a peak into the life of a great artist who was faced with life changing tragedy again and again. Polio as a child left her bedridden for months, followed by an almost fatal bus accident that left her bedridden for life and in a lot of pain… throughout her struggles she painted to express herself. A Poignant read and beautiful introduction to a great artist.
Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood: We are waiting for this one to appear in our library, it is the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay. We have read about this orchestra, that created their instruments from the materials found in the dump that they live on, in the news… but we would love to read the story and find out more about it.
The Llamas Secret by Palacios: This is a Peruvian retelling of the story of the great flood, the lllama tells the people that they need to seek safety on the mountain, because of the rising sea…
Hill of Fire by Thomas P.Lewis, illustrated by Joan Sandin: This is the story of a poor Mexican farmer whose very ordinary days, and one day while he is plowing the field his plow falls into a whole in the ground and smoke erupts from it… and later a volcano erupted from the ground in his field… and incredible story based on actual events… a great beginner reader.
Se7en + 1 Chapter Books
The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads: This is the story of an ancient Mayan boy who is called to grow the corn for his family when his father is injured and there is no one else to help the family survive. It is a difficult journey and there are many lessons to learn along the way. The illustrations in this book, are line drawn in the Mayan tradition and help to set the scene of the story. There is a glossary of words at the end of this book, that are scattered throughout the story and help to place it in the context of central America. This is a coming of age book that makes a good first chapter book… though all my kids have asked me for help to get through it.
Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clarke: This is one of our all time favourite read a louds and we have read it again and again and again… It is the story of Cusi, and Incan boy who is sent on a mysterious journey, a quest… and on his journey he discovers himself and the truth about his secret past. There are nuances in this book that make it work better as a read a loud, there are jumps in logic and the rhythm is fairly slow in places. As a read aloud we can talk about the emotional journey that Cusi is on, and and explain things as we go… My readers would be completely lost if they read this on their own… but together we have really enjoyed getting to know the Incan culture and mindset through it… Highly recommend reading this one as a family.
Chucaro Wild Pony of the Pampa by Francis Kalnay: I read this book as a child and it has stayed with me. It is a great horse story, set in a part of the world where horse stories are not typically written. This book tells you so much about life in the Pampas and the gauchos who work there. Pederito, the son of an old gaucho has set his heart on taming a wild horse they have caught… the wealthy land owner wants the wild horse for his cruel and spoilt son. There is conflict, there is lots of horse talk and a happy ending.
Cairo Jim and the Quest for the Quetzal Queen by Geoffrey McSkimming: Cairo Jim is a series of chapter books for readers who beginning to be confident in reading in reading picture-free chapter books. It is a series of books that my kids inhale and can’t get enough of. Cairo Jim is an archeologist that goes on epic adventures to all the ancient sites of the world with his macaw, Doris, and Wonder Camel, Brenda. This quest is set in Mexico and involves climbing each of the ancient pyramids in search of the Quetzal Queen. You have been warned that once you have read one of these you will absolutely have to read the others in the series too. You can find Cairo Jim at his website here.
Mission Survival: Gold of the Gods by Bear Grylls: Bear Grylls needs no introduction as the great adventurer that he is. The fact that he writes excellent and adventurous stories to accompany his personal adventures is really a bonus. This book is the first in another series of books that my middle-school boys literally inhaled… survival skills for the win. Beck Granger is lost in the jungle of Colombia and has to survive… without food or a compass. There is a lot to learn in the jungle and he has to learn fast, so will the reader. You can read more about this exciting series here.
Young Bond Hurricane Gold: Another series of books aimed at adventure seeking teens… Fast paced action from start to finish. Flying Ace Jack Stone leaves his daughter and dos son, with a young James Bond. Of course there are folks waiting to ambush the youngsters and a terrific chase through the Mayan Jungles ensues… Greed, betrayal and of course survival skills. You can read more about the series over here….
Walk the World’s Rim by Betty Baker: This is the story of a young indian boy from a primitive indian tribe, who is entranced by four survivors of a Spanish Expedition to Mexico. The four survivors, three spaniards and their slave Esteban, need a guide. This is definitely a read aloud, the desperate struggles through out the book seem to just compound on top of each other. There is a lot of hardship and in desperate times folk can do desperate things. At first you might think it is a story of survival… but ultimately it a the story of friendship. This book is digs deep into the history and culture of the time, it is a great read… but a journey I would rather travel, reading alongside my kids. The ending is poignant, and you will think about the bigger lessons in this book, long after you have finished reading it.
Bruchko by Bruce Olson: Another book that is so good that I have reviewed it before. I first read this book myself, and then I started reading it to my older boys, as it was part of their school curriculum, I planned for them to get caught up in it and finish it themselves… but it is so good that I read it through to the end. This is the story of a young 19 year old chap, who is called to be a missionary to a remote tribe in the deep jungle of South America. This is the story of his journey to reach them, the incredible hardships he faced, the illness he suffered and the perseverance to push on, against all odds. This is an outstanding true book, that you will read all the way through without pause… don’t miss it.
Previous Posts in this Series
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