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MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB

Author: Richard Wainwright

Illustrator: Jack Crompton

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Publisher: Family Life Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Roberto lives in a small village in the Andean mountains. He and his family have a lot of work, and he has to feed the animals before breakfast. The newest llama, Consuelo, was born with only one eye. Roberto and Consuelo went everywhere together ... even to the United States to live with his aunt and uncle and study English. These would be big challenges? Could he do it? This is a story for a multicultural world, addressing prejudice and discrimination, honesty and courage.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 10; read yourself: 10 and Up

Interest Level: 8 to 12

Reading Level: 5.5

Age of Child: Read by an 10-year-old girl. She participated in a youth ministry project at Effort Baptist Church helping our Use Your ABCs project.

Young Reader Reaction: This book has lots of words. It took too long to get to the point.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a beautiful story complemented by incredible illustrations. This is a picture book that verges on being a chapter book because of the amount of text. Roberto is an endearing, sensitive child. When he speaks, he offers ideas that will make kids think. Although bringing Consuelo to the United States seems out of the ordinary, it works (and is important) for the story. I also liked how the story showed the different forms discrimination, handicap, and prejudice can take.

Pros: Beautiful illustrations and a story about facing challenges offer kids important life lessons.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a beautiful book and a story that kids need to hear.

If You Liked This Book, Try: ROYAL KOI AND KINDRED SPIRITS   CHULITA THE BLIND CAT   LISTEN!

Educational Themes: Because of the way the events are presented, it is easy to isolate a theme for small group discussion: dealing with fear, leaving home, cooperation and teamwork, being "dropped in" a new culture, etc. In today's multicultural classroom, this would be a good story to start talking about personal histories.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, health, illness, cultures and tradition, multicultural, life lessons

Date(s) Reviewed: June 2009

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