German Readalong, Take Three: A Song of Ice and Fire

German Readalong Introduction - Die Herren von Winterfell

Hi, all! So some of you may remember that a long, long time ago, I did a readalong of Die Bestimmung (Divergent, Veronica Roth) in German, where I wrote up my thoughts, made word lists, and generally went through the book in a way that was interesting to me, helped me practise the language, and hopefully provided some help for you all too.

This post is basically me saying: I want to do that again. Continue reading “German Readalong, Take Three: A Song of Ice and Fire”

Review: Malala Yousafzai: Warrior With Words by Karen Leggett Abouraya (Multicultural Children’s Book Day)

Hi, guys! So you might have seen me do this last year, but in case you didn’t: today is Multilingual Children’s Book Day! Basically, this is a day founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen to celebrate diversity in children’s literature–and they do this by connecting bloggers (and, this year, Instagrammers, YouTubers, and people on Twitter and Facebook) with books and authors so that we can spread the word about these books.

So, with no further ado, here’s the book I’m reviewing this year.

Summary (from 

The inspiring, true story of Malala Yousafzai, a young Pakistani girl who stands up and speaks out for every child s right to education. Though she and two of her schoolmates were targeted by a Taliban gunman, a life-threatening injury only strengthened her resolve. Malala spoke at the U.N. on her 16th birthday in 2013, nine months after she was shot. Author and journalist Karen Leggett Abouraya, author of Hands Around the Library: Protecting Egypt’s Treasured Books, brings Malala’s story to life for young readers. Malala’s story is more than a biography of a brave and outspoken teenager. It is a testament to the power of education to change the world for boys and girls everywhere. “Winner of the California Reading Association’s 2015 EUREKA! Honor Award”


I think most adults have heard of Malala and so I don’t really need to recap the story for you–Leggett Abouraya tells it well, explaining what happened to Malala before she was shot on the bus and it’s nice to learn more about this brave girl and her family. Despite the fact that it is recommended for ages eight to eleven, I think the parts that we might recognise as darker are handled well (the language is straightforward and fairly simplistic) and the fact that Malala is real may capture their imaginations, in some ways, more than a fictional heroine could.

The book is also beautifully illustrated (I love the style of the kind of collage-y pictures!) and, on Amazon, there are versions available in German and Spanish, which, considering the language used, would work especially well for intermediate students or, if you had both books, as a kind of bilingual reader. It would also be a useful book if you want to teach your children/students about Malala, Pakistan, the rights of women or children globally, and about citizenship and their place in their own community.


It might be interesting to compare students’ views on their education before and after reading this book. (However, I have done this–without the book, just asking them–and you will still get students who say they don’t want to come to school, regardless!) Ask them why they think Malala thinks it is so important to go to school? What would the girls do if they came to school and were turned away? What about the boys? For the older students, ask them what this would mean when they were older; how would it be different to what they might do now?

Malala also wrote a blog about her life in Swat Valley when the Taliban came–it was this blog that caused her to be targeted in 2012. Get your older students to try writing their own blog (maybe not online, just in an exercise book or on Word) about their school experience or the book and then, if they enjoy it, let them carry on! It could be a fun thing to do once a week/fortnight for those who want to.

Also, for those of us in the UK: it might be especially useful to use this book as a starting point to talk about Pakistan and British Pakistanis. The UK has the largest Pakistani community in Europe and this could be a chance to talk about diversity here, so maybe see if it’s possible to spend a lesson (or preferably a few) talking about the country and its culture. Odds are, the students will really enjoy learning something new–you could even get them to make posters about what they’ve learnt that can be used to inform students in other years.

Multicultural Children's Book Day

I hope you enjoyed this and manage to check out the book!

Just a few more things before I go:

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 ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawMaria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela 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.

Review: Joelito’s Big Decision (Multicultural Children’s Book Day)

Hi guys! So, some point last year I saw that there was a call out for book reviewers for Multicultural Children’s Book Day, which is taking place on the 27th January 2016.

The mission statement for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day Team is:

The MCCBD team’s mission is to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

I thought this was fantastic – it ties into everything I feel about languages and education (and the fact that promoting diversity can only be a good thing) – and so I signed up to be a reviewer straight away. If you’re interested in finding out more about the event, then the co-creators are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press.

The book that I was sent is titled Joelito’s Big Decision / La Gran Decisión de Joelito, which is an English-Spanish dual-language book, written by Ann Berlak, translated by José Antonio Galloso, and illustrated by Daniel Camacho. There’s a summary below, along with my review and activities!

Joelito Cover Two Boys Lo Rez

Continue reading “Review: Joelito’s Big Decision (Multicultural Children’s Book Day)”

Kind 44 #003 | Die Suche nach einem Spion

Hallo Leute! Wie geht’s?

Ich habe mehr von Kind 44 gelesen – ein Teil findet am 14. Februar in Dorf Kimow statt, das andere Teil in Moskau (wieder am selben Tag). Wie immer werden Spoiler folgen.

German Readalong 2

Continue reading “Kind 44 #003 | Die Suche nach einem Spion”

Review: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner (and my new flashcard system!)

Hi guys! Today’s post is another book review – this time of Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner. I read this book just over a week ago and thought it was really quite interesting – and it got me all excited about new learning methods and trying out new languages.

So without further ado, here’s what I thought of the book (and what it helped me to do!).

fluent forever

Continue reading “Review: Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner (and my new flashcard system!)”