Melena's Jubilee by Zetta Elliott
To be published on November 8, 2016.
At breakfast she learns she has been given a “fresh start,” and she decides to celebrate by doing things differently for the rest of the day. Melena chooses not to fight with her brother, and shares the money she has rather than demanding to be repaid by a less fortunate friend. This story introduces children to the concept of jubilee, which stresses the important principles of debt relief, generosity, and forgiveness. Aaron Boyd’s mixed-media illustrations are as bright and vivid as a sun-washed day.
The message in Melena's Jubilee is so wonderful! It's a new day, and Melena has woken up with a song in her heart. So many things went wrong yesterday, and it seemed like everyone was mad at her. But this morning, the sun is shining, and her mother has forgiven her for breaking a vase. She decides to make this a "Fresh Start Day". She's going to do everything right. She doesn't hit her brother even though he hit her last week. She doesn't make her friend pay back the money he owes her. Instead she pools her money with his to buy and every bigger ice cream to split.
Melena's positive outlook on the day will be infectious. The end notes of this book list out 7 things that kids can do to have their own "Fresh Start Day". I loved this idea. I also enjoyed the author's notes about The Day of Jubilee, and it's significance to the African American community. I always appreciate when a children's book teaches me something new.
This book is best suited for children ages 6-10 because there are a lot of words. Despite that, I think the meaning of the story will be easy for kids to absorb. I throughly enjoyed this book, and I can't wait to share it with my son.
My Rating: 5 Stars
On the blog last year...
NerdCon: Stories 2015 - Part 1