Best Book 2009

Off and on during this month I’ll be doing posts themed by “Best of Blogs 09.” The author lists a different ‘best” for each day of December.

Today’s “best of” is Best Book of 2009. I’ve had significantly less time to read now that Menininho is here, and consequently most of the excellent books are from last fall. My runner-up for Best Book of 2009 is In the Time of Butterflies, by Julia Alvarez. It’s a read that will pull you in immediately. In the Time of Butterflies tells a somewhat fictionalized account of the lives of the Mirabel sisters, who played a key role in eventually overthrowing their country’s (the Dominican Republic) dictator, Trujillo.

However, I’ve decided to go with a children’s book for my ultimate selection: Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. I’m biracial (Latina & White) and have struggled sometimes with my identity. I think it’s very important that my son know his roots (Brasilian on my side and Italian on his father’s) and I’ve been looking for children’s books with strong multicultural characters. I’ve had a really difficult time finding any!

Then, while shopping on Black Friday, I came across Whoever You Are. Mem Fox is my favorite children’s author and this book did not disappoint. It’s not told from a White perspective, or a Brown perspective, or a Blue perspective…it’s universal. Its message is that no matter who we are or where we live, we are all people and therefore have a lot in common. Leslie Staub does the illustrations and they’re gorgeous.

I bought the book in paperback, then found out the next day that my mother had seen the same book and purchased it for Menininho as a board book. Her version had English on one page, Spanish on the other.

I haven’t bought this book for anyone yet, but I’m sure that I will. And if you have any books featuring Latino characters to suggest, please do!!!

Also, don’t forget today is the LAST day to enter the Little Ones giveaway. You’ve got till 11 pm PST (2 am EST). I’ll post the winner on Saturday!


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3 responses to “Best Book 2009

  1. That is a fabulous book! I used it whilst teaching all the time, and now I have a copy for Ella. I love Mem Fox, but this one is my favorite!

  2. mom

    Menininho is also German, Irish, English and lots of specks of other things. His German and English genes are shaping his physical appearance.
    I will keep an eye out for more books – maybe I’ll have time during Christmas break. Places that sell pacifist things are more likely to have books with this kind of message. I have a card for one somewhere – I met some people at the Willy St fair (very Hippie kind of fair) who sell them. Keep reminding me.

  3. I think that sounds like a great book and probably is one that more adults should read too! 🙂

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