FICTION

Usha and the Stolen Sun

Owlkids. Mar. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771472760.
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K-Gr 2–Smart, brave, and confident young Usha was born in a town where children have never seen the sun. She knows only how the sun looks and feels from her grandfather’s childhood stories from before the wall was built. Usha is perplexed as to why her grandfather and other people could not knock down the wall. Determined to bring the sun back to her town, Usha travels through the deep jungle until she reaches the wall. At first, she tries to knock it down by yelling, screaming, and kicking it. Then, she remembers that her grandfather already tried this, to no avail. She resolves to inspire the people on the other side of the wall with her songs and stories. One by one, people start to move the bricks to get closer to Usha in order to hear her better. Finally, when the wall is completely down, the people realize that there are more similarities among them than differences and they can enjoy the world together. Bold illustrations showing a village create depth of meaning. The book offers a great opportunity to start a discussion about how to resolve conflicts, face bullies, and change the world.
VERDICT This is a mindful read-aloud story with several teachable moments. It highlights the power of words and stories to connect the world.

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