June 12th, 2021
Gonzalez, Sarai. Sarai and the Meaning of Awesome. (2018). Scholastic Inc.
Summary: Sarai is a fourth-grade student who loves her family. She is proud of her parents who are both immigrants and reflects on their strengths even through transition. She talks about celebrations and struggles that are part of the family journey including her extended family. Sarai describes herself as awesome and refers to it as being super amazing! Trouble arises when the home that her grandparents have rented for over twenty years will be sold. Sarai becomes frantic but remains optimistic. How can she help? Will her cupcake business make enough money to save the home that all her family has found refuge in?
Strengths: This book is the face of how many immigrants thrive when transitioning to a new country. The content is relatable for students who have similar experiences. It allows them to make connections which could be extremely challenging especially for English Language Learners.
Weaknesses: The illustrations capture the reader’s attention; however, the cover is so vibrant it makes the black and white less favorable.
Thoughts: This is one of three books in the Sarai series. These books are great for students who are elevating from picture books to chapter books. The storyline covers everything from assimilation to problem solving.