Friday, January 18, 2019

Multicultural Children's Book Day with the review: All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

 January 25th is Multicultural Children's Book Day! To lead up to this wonderful celebration, many children book reviewers are joining with authors and publishers to bring to light the various multicultural books available. Bookworm for Kids is honored and excited to be a part of this important event!

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. 

Review of...

Shame the Stars Series
by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Lee & Low / Tu Books
YA Historical
400 pages

In a companion novel to her critically acclaimed Shame the Stars, Guadalupe Garcia McCall tackles the hidden history of the United States and its first mass deportation event that swept up hundreds of thousands of Mexican American citizens during the Great Depression.


I did not read the companion novel, Shame of Stars,  before reading this book. However, it was also not necessary, and I had no trouble diving into this story. In other words, it can be read as a stand alone.

It's 1931, and Estrella is fifteen years old and the daughter of a Mexican/American rancher.  While the story begins with her irritation at having to help out around the ranch and take care of her younger brother more than she'd like to, it quickly shifts gears and rotates into a little known historical event: the repatriation, or large deportation of Mexicans, including American citizens with Mexican heritage, during the Great Depression. Determined to stand up to the unfair handlings of her neighbors and friends, Estrella finds herself captured in one of the 'round-ups' and deported to Mexico. Not only is she determined to survive and return to their home, but her entire family is caught up in the horrible battle.

History holds many 'secret' moments, which aren't spoken of or are played down. This is one, which although I'd briefly learned about during school, never heard or knew what was really behind it. Reality is often more powerful than fiction, and that is proven in these pages.

Estrella is a bright girl with tons of gusto. She tends to speak her mind very freely, one of the things which gets her into trouble, but it's also one of her more inspiring traits. The author allows her to gain a natural setting as a teen with usual struggles of independence before allowing the problems to unfold. This gives the reader a chance to get to know Estrella and connect with her, which makes the later events in the book hit that much harder. The characters and emotions are well done, and it's a message which hits home. The fear, struggles, desperation, and hope pull at the heart-strings and leave a vivid lasting impression...exactly that which is needed to make the reader breath it in and think.

Copies of Estrella's journal and news articles sprinkle the pages and give a more true feel to the happenings. It also allows  the reader to take a pause and consider the events up to those moments. I found this pacing well done and enjoyed the change from the same printed text.

While the story grabs and gives Estrella life, especially in the first pages, the dialogue and writing didn't hold the realistic atmosphere of the 1930's. I found myself checking several times to see if the characters were really placed in the 1930's or if it was a more modern version. This, however, didn't hurt the main tale and definitely was soon forgotten once the story got going. 

At the end of the book, the author leaves her thoughts and provides a glossary of many of the Spanish words and phrases sprinkled in the pages. It's a thought-evoking read and will touch the hearts of older readers as much as young adults.

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Medallion Sponsors on board!
*View our 2019 Medallion Sponsors here:
*View our 2019 MCBD Author Sponsors here:
Medallion Level Sponsors

Honorary: Children’s Book CouncilThe Junior Library

Super Platinum: Make A Way Media

GOLD: Bharat BabiesCandlewick PressChickasaw Press, Juan Guerra and The Little Doctor / El doctorcitoKidLitTV,  Lerner Publishing GroupPlum Street Press,

SILVER: Capstone PublishingCarole P. RomanAuthor Charlotte RiggleHuda EssaThe Pack-n-Go Girls,

BRONZE: Charlesbridge PublishingJudy Dodge CummingsAuthor Gwen JacksonKitaab WorldLanguage Lizard – Bilingual & Multicultural Resources in 50+ LanguagesLee & Low BooksMiranda Paul and Baptiste Paul, RedfinAuthor Gayle H. Swift,  T.A. Debonis-Monkey King’s DaughterTimTimTom BooksLin ThomasSleeping Bear Press/Dow PhumirukVivian Kirkfield,

MCBD 2019 is honored to have the following Author Sponsors on board

Honorary: Julie FlettMehrdokht Amini,

Author Janet BallettaAuthor Kathleen BurkinshawAuthor Josh FunkChitra SoundarOne Globe Kids – Friendship StoriesSociosights Press and Almost a MinyanKaren LeggettAuthor Eugenia ChuCultureGroove BooksPhelicia Lang and Me On The PageL.L. WaltersAuthor Sarah StevensonAuthor Kimberly Gordon BiddleHayley BarrettSonia PanigrahAuthor Carolyn Wilhelm, Alva Sachs and Dancing DreidelsAuthor Susan BernardoMilind Makwana and A Day in the Life of a Hindu KidTara WilliamsVeronica AppletonAuthor Crystal BoweDr. Claudia MayAuthor/Illustrator Aram KimAuthor Sandra L. RichardsErin DealeyAuthor Sanya Whittaker GraggAuthor Elsa TakaokaEvelyn Sanchez-ToledoAnita BadhwarAuthor Sylvia LiuFeyi Fay AdventuresAuthor Ann MorrisAuthor Jacqueline JulesCeCe & Roxy BooksSandra Neil Wallace and Rich WallaceLEUYEN PHAMPadma VenkatramanPatricia Newman and Lightswitch LearningShoumi SenValerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Traci SorellShereen RahmingBlythe StanfelChristina MatulaJulie RubiniPaula ChaseErin TwamleyAfsaneh MoradianLori DeMonia, Claudia Schwam, Terri Birnbaum/ RealGirls RevolutionSoulful SydneyQueen 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

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 ( a prize every 5 minutes!). GO HERE for more details.
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

1 comment:

Gina Gao said...

This seems like such an interesting book!