I’m writing this review as part of the Read Around the World Summer Reading Series from Multicultural Kid Blogs. Bloggers from around the world are sharing their book reviews of multicultural (and sometimes multilingual too) books for kids of all ages: Mondays are for ages 5 and under, Wednesdays for children 6-10, and Fridays for tweens and older. You can also see all of the recommendations on our Summer Reading Pinterest Board.
I’m recommending Ouma Ruby’s Secret, also available in Afrikaans as Ouma Ruby se geheim. We read the Afrikaans version at home. It is perfect for the 6-10 year old child. It will show a different world to them: where not everyone can read. About 16% of the world’s people are illiterate, and this book deals with the subject with compassion. It is the true story of a well-known South African author, Chris van Wyk, who describes how he found out as a young child that his grandmother can’t read. He was a book loving child who read anything that came across his way. When it was his grandmother’s birthday, he didn’t have a gift to give to her. So he wrote her a letter about how much he appreciates and loves her. When he asked her to read it aloud, he made the discovery that she can’t read. He ends up reading the letter to her.
If you want to talk to your child about Apartheid South Africa, or illiteracy, or how poverty or political circumstances make it impossible for some kids to go to school, I can highly recommend this beautifully illustrated book.