Title: The Wednesday Surprise
Written by: Eve Bunting
Illustrated by: Donald Carrick
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: adult literacy, overcoming challenges, compassion
Brief Synopsis: Anna and her Grandmother plan a special surprise for her father. She is teaching her Grandmother to read.
Opening pages: “I like surprises. But the one Grandma and I are planning for Dan’s birthday is the best surprise of all.
We work on it Wednesday nights. On Wednesdays Mom has to stay late at the office and my brother Sam, goes to basketball practice at the Y. That’s when Grandma rides the bus across town to stay with me.”
Why I like this book: I adore the idea that Anna taught her grandmother to read and that her son was so proud of her. A must read for all ages and genders because it introduces the reader to adult illiteracy. Illiteracy may result from having a language barrier or disability or from being born into a culture or country that does not value girls’ education. As women’s history month come to an end, and I reflect upon the lives of women who overcame challenges like Anna’s grandmother and were role models for future generations. This book reminds us that even though hurdles exist, and for girls and women in particular, change is possible. To quote the title of the song sung by Loretta Lynn, “We’ve come a long way baby’’. Don’t stop now!
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