The Curse of the Were-Hyena by Bruce Hale is a tribute to the brilliant and slightly wild minds of children (IMHO). This is achieved through the engaging and interactive style of storytelling. Main characters, Carlos and Benny, don’t narrate in a typical manner—instead it feels as if they are talking to a friend. This technique has the potential to hook reluctant readers. Additionally, the idea of your teacher (Mr. Chu) turning into a monster and displaying over-the-top mannerisms is also reflective of children or at the very least intriguing for many child readers. The transparent discussion of emotions, such as fear and guilt, also worthy of recognition. Hale is truly an artistic writer as he is able to integrate humor and whimsical pencil sketched illustrations into this suspenseful mystery. While diversity isn’t addressed in a preachy or explicit manner it is great to see diverse characters represented in this book in a manner that is positive, real, and reflective of how culture influences us. The diverse family dynamics is also presented implicitly and in respect to valuing multiculturalism. I would recommend this book for mystery lovers and reluctant readers!
*I received this book for review from Bruce Hale and publisher, Disney/Hyperion as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
More event details for the day:
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O'Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i