This is my second year as a book reviewer for Multicultural Children’s Books Day (MCCBD) and I’m happy to review the Museum Mysteries series by Steve Brezenoff. Multicultural Children’s Books Day is the much-needed initiative started by bloggers Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valerie Budayr from Jump Into A Book to bring books featuring diverse characters into the hands of children, educators, parents, caregivers and librarians across the country.
It is most important for children to see themselves in the books they read as well as experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions through reading. You can follow book reviews posted by different bloggers, author visits, event details and a multi-cultural children’s book linkup through the hashtag #ReadYourWorld on twitter and other social media.
I received two books in a series of six titles to review from Capstone Press – The Case of the Missing Museum Archives and The Case of the Portrait Vandal.
The Museum Mysteries books have four friends who solve mysteries in the Capitol City museums where their parents work. The friends have diverse backgrounds – Native American, Somali Muslim, Caucasian and African American – but they enjoy each other’s company and work together to solve the puzzles that confront them. The kids do come across prejudice from other kids and grown-ups around them from time to time. They support each other and are helped by other grown-ups who are not biased by racial concerns.
I would recommend the series for second to fourth graders who like mysteries. The books are a quick read and my second-grader enjoyed them thoroughly, asking for the next in the series. Although the plot lines are very simple, the vocabulary is not, and the glossary at the end of the book is great for kids to help themselves. Also, each book focuses on a particular museum and explains interesting facts about its exhibits.
The Case of the Missing Museum Archives is set in the Air and Space Museum and contains interesting facts about aviation history and space exploration in the story as well as in the notes at the back of the book. The Case of the Portrait Vandal features the American History museum and has information about the Articles of Confederation, the American Constitution and early flags of the United States. Both books also have discussion questions and writing prompts, which can be useful for educators.
Things to Do:
A fun companion activity for the series would be to visit a local museum with kids. A little prior research will allow you to identify exhibits that are of particular interest to your children so that you can mark them on a map and look out for them during your visit.
You can buy the Museum Mysteries from Amazon
Disclosure: I received copies of The Case of the Missing Museum Archives and The Case of the Portrait Vandal free of cost. All opinions expressed in this here are mine and I have received no other compensation for the review.
MCCBD Sponsors and Co-Hosts:
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