Friday, June 26, 2009

Children's Book Review Series: Davy Brown Discovers His Roots by Keely Alexander & Velani Mynhardt Witthoft

Davey Brown Discovers His Roots by Keely Alexander & Velani Mynhardt Witthoft and Illustrated by Manuela Pentangelo is the perfect book for parents and teachers who want to teach children the importance of our history. It sends a powerful message about understanding different backgrounds and cultures with realistic examples of what makes America the "melting pot".

Davy has been given an assignment; to create a family tree of flags showing his roots. How could he do that? He has no roots. He is simply an American, just as his parents are and their parents before them. Many of his classmates and friends have exciting adventures to share about how their families came to America. Each with many different flags representing the far away and exotic lands that they and their ancestors came from. How could he present a project with only one flag on his tree? If he doesn't finish the assignment he can not play baseball. That is not an option, since he is the star pitcher for the Ballard Vikings and the big game was coming up.

Project day comes and, as expected Davy's friends present their exciting, scary, and inspiring stories. Davy tries to make up a story, but his teacher stops him and gives him another chance to research his true history. What he finds not only amazes his classmates but surprises Davy. He learns an important lesson spoken best by Franklin D. Roosevelt, "Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."

The authors did a great job of representing the diversity that is America. Davy represents the typical adolescent American; disconnected from history, unmotivated, and a little self centered. He learns not only that he has a rich history beyond his American descendants, but to also appreciate and sympathize with others.

This is a must have book for classrooms of all ages, but especially for grades 3-6 when American history, diversity, and world awareness are covered in more detail. I can't wait to take Davy Brown Discovers His Roots to the teachers I have worked with in my town.

Davy Brown Discovers His Roots can be purchased, or additional information can be found by following any of the following links.

Autographed copies available from

Leave me a comment if you have or plan to purchase this book. I am interested in hearing what you think.


Kristin : )

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