“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.” ~C.S. Lewis
Atinuke, and Lauren Tobia. Anna Hibiscus. Tulsa, OK: Kane Miller, 2010.
Genre: multicultural literature
Reading Level: 670L
Summary: This is the first of many Anna Hibiscus books. Anna is from Africa, and lives with her middle-class family in an urban city. She is also biracial – her father is African and her mother is Canadian. She lives on a compound with her extended family and they go on a beach vacation. While she lives a sheltered, happy life, this story shares glimpses into Anna’s experiences with the world around her, which aren’t always beautiful. Her realization about the surrounding poverty is done in a careful, thoughtful way, and the juxtaposition of Anna’s seemingly charmed life with the rest of the world around her is breathtaking.
Rationale for Classroom Use: Students will place themselves in the shoes of Anna and recall reasons for her wanting to see snow. From there, they can try to describe to Anna what snow is like (or for someone who has never seen or experienced snow).
Common Core Connection: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events