Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Series by Sharon Draper

I am still working on sharing all of the great books I found at NCTE's Annual Convention. One series that I am especially excited about is a new one by Sharon Draper.  The first book in the series is called SASSY: LITTLE SISTER IS NOT MY NAME. I read this advanced copy on the plane on the way home and think it will be a great addition to the series books that highlight strong girl characters.  Sassy is a fun character and you can tell that from the front cover.  

Sassy is a child who matches her name. Early in the book she says, "My mom says she gave me that name right after I was born, when she first took me in her arms, and I stuck out my tongue at her.  'What a sassy little princess you are!' she said right then and there." But the problem in this book is that no one uses Sassy's name when they talk to her. They call her Little Sister and she is tired of it.  

My favorite thing about Sassy is her "Sassy Sack". It is a purple, silver, pink, and magenta purse with lots of compartments and zippers.  Sassy loves the purse and has it with her at all times. She carries lots of things in the sack. Throughout the book, it is comical the number of things she pulls out of it.  Actually, I think one of the reasons I liked the book was because the Sassy Sack reminded me a bit of my own purse--you never know what you'll find in there. (Those of you that know me and have seen my purse, know that this is true!)

The book is a good one for children in 3rd and 4th grade and the character is one that is very likable. The plot is one that is easy to follow--not lots of layers but also not shallow.  

I have written before about the lack of books for transitional readers--especially series books-that feature African American characters and continue to be stunned by the statistics on what is being published.  So I was thrilled to see this new series by Draper and I was even more excited when I read this first book. I am excited that they'll be more books about series and I can't wait to share these with the kids at school--I hope that Scholastic gets several in this series out quickly:-)

2 comments:

  1. I can't wait to share this series with kids! My school is about 80% African American and Hispanic. I agree with you- we need more LOTS books with main characters that are more reflective of the diversity in the world!
    Carol

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  2. Hi Franki,
    One of my biggest dreams is to get on a plane, walk down the aisle pulling my overloaded bag, and see someone reading one of my books! I'm so glad you liked Sassy. I'm doing final edits on book 2 today, so it should be out soon. It's called The Birthday Storm.
    Please feel free to link this article to my blog (sharondraper.blogspot.com). As soon as I figure out how to do it, I'll link to yours as well. I'm new to blogging, and sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself, so hook me up with your readers.
    All the best--
    Sharon Draper

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