BOOKS

Young Adult Fiction
Can Patrik and his family escape their totalitarian country before they are found out?
multicultural middle grade fiction
In Baghdad, war is being waged all around Talib and Nouri. Can these two Iraqi boys solve their own war and live in peace with each other?
Living in the Mayan jungle, Rosalba knows nothing about the 2012 prophesy of the end of the world. Then sophisticated Alicia comes from Mexico City to tell her all about it...
Susana and Pina grow up in an Italian orphanage Will either find a parent?
Can a white boy and an African boy keep their friendship in a changing world?
Overnight, Tinh's Vietnamese village is destroyed by a cyclone. How can Tinh make things right for himself and his family?
Binh's Ameican aunt is coming to her Vietnamese village. Will she bring the riches that Binh longs for?
Gregory has to leave the Navajo reservation for the big city of Tucson.
Why won't the new Chinese girl be Ginny's friend?
In this sequel to The Gold-Threaded Dress, Oy must again make a decision. In the talent show will she do what others want or be true to herself?
What if your best friend is also your biggest rival?
Will Noi be sent to the factory to work, or can she learn to paint umbrellas? Will a young artist be able to pursue her gift?
Gloria wakes up on Christmas morning to find that Mama is going to work instead of taking her to Nana's house in Mexico to celebrate.
Oy, a Thai immigrant, has to decide what she will give up to fit in. What would you do if the most popular girl demanded that you bring or special dress to school, or else?

Can a white boy and an African boy keep their friendship in a changing world?


REVIEWS
"The friendship drama will hold readers, along with the confusion, conflict, and betrayal within family, church, and community….The connections with the civil-rights struggles in the U.S. will also touch readers." Booklist

"Told with sympathy and authority, this is a worthy reminder of the history of a country that still struggles today." School Library Journal

"What becomes evident as the story progresses...is that the issue is not entirely black and white, literally or figuratively; the book looks beyond race to examine questions about the meaning of being Christian, fear of Communism, family loyalty, and ethical choices... Marsden and Matzigkeit...deftly navigate the dynamic forces at play in the two boys' lives; both Evan and Blessing want to do what is right, but the right choice is not always the clear choice. The story crosses genres to bring in elements of historical fiction, intrigue, and mystery; at its heart, however, it is a tale of friendship in a volatile context, with all of its abundant confusion and complications. Offer this to readers who are drawn to strong narrative voice, or share it as a readaloud and discussion starter." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"The novel is beautifully written and makes good and easy reading for historical understandings. It can also be used for literature, pleasure, and for teaching conflict resolution and friendship. Boys, as well as girls, will enjoy the book." Alan's Picks

HOW I GOT THE IDEA
While I grew up in Mexico of missionary parents, my first cousin, Philip, grew up in Rhodesia on a mission. Rhodesia is now called Zimbabwe and is a tumultuous country which is in the news a lot. Whenever Philip talked about growing up in Africa, it all sounded very romantic. One day, I suggested we create a fictional story based on his childhood. We worked together very hard to make SAHWIRA come to life.
IDEAS FOR CLASSROOM DISCUSSION:

*the Civil Rights Movement in the US
*Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
*African culture
*friendship
*peaceful vs. violent means to change

Philip's dad is on the left, mine is on the right. They were brothers.

This is Philip in Africa with his dog, Fritzi.

Here is Philip's best friend Blessing.