By Brenda Barrera
Typically, I review Picture Books or Adult Nonfiction/Sports titles and have not reviewed Middle Grade (MG) books but when I saw the opportunity to participate in this year’s Multicultural Children’s Book Day #ReadYourWorld, I jumped over to my keyboard and sent off a reply, “Yes! I’d love to be included and help promote books that celebrate diversity!”
I scanned the book choices, and immediately recognized co-author Jessica Mendoza’s name for THERE’S NO BASE LIKE HOME (Tu Books an imprint of Lee & Low Books). Not only is Mendoza a two-time Olympian (2004, 2008) but she’s a trailblazer in another sports profession—in 2016 she made history when ESPN named her a TV analyst for Major League Baseball. Her sister and co-author, Alana Mendoza Dusan, understands the sport pretty well, too, she played DI baseball at Oregon State University.
This delightful story follows 12-year-old Sophia Garcia throughout the school year as she navigates the move from elementary to middle school. It hits all the bases of what it’s like to go through these changes plus it accurately portrays sibling dynamics of what it's like to follow in the steps of her older sister Ellie, a talented softball pitcher. Sophia is crushed when she doesn’t make the cut for her sister’s former team, the Waves, but rebounds when she's asked to join a start-up team called the Quakes. It’s noteworthy that the Quakes have a positive role model and insightful female coach, CJ.
Certain to be a hit for readers interested in sports, softball, or Hispanic athletes and scores high in depicting real life insecurities of forging new friendships while maintaining old ones, and daily life experiences of growing up in a working-class family. This captures the beauty of “La Familia” celebrating life's accomplishments with a dynamic extended family and sharing traditions like making tamales. Hmmm, that bought back memories from my childhood and making tamales with my abuela!
Readers familiar with the Ellie McDoodle Diaries Series will recognize the work of the talented award-winning author/illustrator RuthMcNally Barshaw that liven the text and capture the emotion and the spirit of Sophia, her family, and teammates. (I have to give Ruth a shout out since we are both MSU alumnae – Go Green!)
THERE’S NO BASE LIKE HOME has a whole lotta heart and humor. It celebrates teamwork, friendship, family, and through Sophia’s firsthand account shows how participating in sports can build self-confidence and facilitate valuable life lessons. Highly recommend! Also, this is an ideal reading pick for the upcoming National Girls and Women in Sports Day to be held on February 6, 2019!
About Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2019 (1/25/19) is in its 6th year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board
Medallion Level Sponsors
Honorary: Children’s Book Council, The Junior Library Guild, TheConsciousKid.org.
Super Platinum: Make A Way Media
GOLD: Bharat Babies, Candlewick Press, Chickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcito, KidLitTV, Lerner Publishing Group, Plum Street Press,
SILVER: Capstone Publishing, Carole P. Roman, Author Charlotte Riggle, Huda Essa, The Pack-n-Go Girls,
BRONZE: Charlesbridge Publishing, Judy Dodge Cummings, Author Gwen Jackson, Kitaab World, Language Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ Languages, Lee & Low Books, Miranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, Redfin, Author Gayle H. Swift, T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s Daughter, TimTimTom Books, Lin Thomas, Sleeping Bear Press/Dow Phumiruk, Vivian Kirkfield,
MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board
Honorary: Julie Flett, Mehrdokht Amini,
Author Janet Balletta, Author Kathleen Burkinshaw, Author Josh Funk, Chitra Soundar, One Globe Kids – Friendship Stories, Sociosights Press and Almost a Minyan, Karen Leggett, Author Eugenia Chu, CultureGroove Books, Phelicia Lang and Me On The Page, L.L. Walters, Author Sarah Stevenson, Author Kimberly Gordon Biddle, Hayley Barrett, Sonia Panigrah, Author Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing Dreidels, Author Susan Bernardo, Milind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu Kid, Tara Williams, Veronica Appleton, Author Crystal Bowe, Dr. Claudia May, Author/Illustrator Aram Kim, Author Sandra L. Richards, Erin Dealey, Author Sanya Whittaker Gragg, Author Elsa Takaoka, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Anita Badhwar, Author Sylvia Liu, Feyi Fay Adventures, Author Ann Morris, Author Jacqueline Jules, CeCe & Roxy Books, Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, LEUYEN PHAM, Padma Venkatraman, Patricia Newman and Lightswitch Learning, Shoumi Sen, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci Sorell, Shereen Rahming, Blythe Stanfel, Christina Matula, Julie Rubini, Paula Chase, Erin Twamley, Afsaneh Moradian, Lori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls Revolution, Soulful Sydney, Queen Girls Publications, LLC
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
Co-Hosts and Global Co-Hosts
A Crafty Arab, Agatha Rodi Books, All Done Monkey, Barefoot Mommy, Biracial Bookworms, Books My Kids Read, Crafty Moms Share, Colours of Us, Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, Descendant of Poseidon Reads, Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Here Wee Read, Joy Sun Bear/ Shearin Lee, Jump Into a Book, Imagination Soup, Jenny Ward’s Class, Kid World Citizen, Kristi’s Book Nook, The Logonauts, Mama Smiles, Miss Panda Chinese, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Raising Race Conscious Children, Shoumi Sen, Spanish Playground
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Make A Way Media: MCBD’s super-popular (and crazy-fun) annual @McChildsBookDay Twitter Party will be held 1/25/19 at 9:00pm.E.S.T. TONS of prizes and book bundles will be given away during the party. GO HERE for more details.
We will be giving away Book Bundles every 5 minutes!
Twitter Party Details:
When: Friday, January 25th
Time: 9 pm to 10 pm EST
Where: On Twitter! Follow McChildsBookDay to participate
Sponsored By: Make A Way Media
FREE RESOURCES From MCBD
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom-empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.