The Wonder of Wildflowers is a MUST read, but also MUST discuss title. This book covers lots of topics in a kid-friendly way — and encourages empathy while also staying true to yourself.
Amber is a liquid magic — when you drink the recommended amount each day, you are stronger, healthier, and smarter. Amberland is the place to be to experience the benefits of Amber. Mira’s family moves to Amberland by invitation — her mom is a scientist working with Amber. But as an immigrant, Mira is not allowed to have Amber like her friends, Krysta (the mayor’s daughter) and the others, at least not until the citizenship papers come in, which will be any day now.
Mira is excited to see what Amber can do for her, but her new science partner for the wildflower project, Daniel (the weird classmate who doesn’t seem to benefit from the magic), is a constant reminder that Amber may not work the way it’s intended. But, why? Tata (Mira’s father) refuses to use Amber, saying he is enough without it, and Mira’s current talents (like writing) are enough, too.
Will Mira and her family be able to reap the benefits of magical Amber? Or will Mira discover something else instead? As the story unfolds, so does the mystery.
I am moved by how many social issues are presented through the pages of this book, recommended for ages 8 and up. I would posit that middle school and high school students could benefit from deep discussions surrounding immigration, government funding and regulation of foods and drugs, corruption, as well as peer pressure and school-based issues. I love how the story is perfect for the elementary age range, but the handling of these deeper topics is also compelling for the older group.
The Wonder of Wildflowers by Anna Staniszewski is timely and important, and Tata (MC Mira’s father) is my favorite parent of #kidlit so far this year.
Thank you, Simon & Schuster and Ms. Staniszewski, for allowing me an Advance Reader Copy of The Wonder of Wildflowers. I enjoyed it, and I know fellow readers will, as well.
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