Review: Pack-n-Go Girls
Pack-n-Go Girls is a book series aimed at 6-9 year olds that features strong girl characters from many countries and ancestries. "Pack-n-Go Girls® specializes in creating innovative stories and toys for girls that deliver positive messages around independence, adventure, and global awareness."
The books take place in countries around the world including Austria, Brazil, Mexico, and Thailand (with more on the way). Each country series features two girl characters, one a knowledgeable local and the other a diverse girl from the US. This linkage allows the books to share a lot of great inside insights into each country, while also promoting cross-cultural friendships.
Two years ago I read and reviewed Mystery of the Golden Temple, a Pack-n-Go girls book set in Thailand. This year I was delighted to receive Mystery of the Lazy Loggerhead, the second book in the Brazil series (I received this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own). In this book, new friends Sofia and Júlia have finally reached the beach and Brazil's Pacific coast. Sofia is able to use her Florida background in sea turtle ecology when the girls face a new puzzle.
Some of the main reasons I really like this series:
- Short, quick paced mysteries that draw the reader in almost immediately
- Familiar, repeated formula (one country, two girls, one mystery) helps readers jump easily from one book in the series to another
- The stories include a girl traveling from the US (allowing the reader to place him/herself into the story) but also include a native resident to help get beyond just a "tourist" view of the country and culture
- Each book includes extension activities: country facts, recipe, language phrases, even a journal section! In addition, teachers and parents can sign up to receive free sample activities here or you can purchase a 40+ page resource and activity guide to accompany each country. I got a chance to browse the Brazil PDF, and it was crammed full of activity pages, secret codes, math problems, and more!
Nitty-gritty: Pages: 126, Lexile: 490L, Fountas & Pinnell: O, Late 2nd grade / Early 3rd grade
I had several students in my third grade classroom who read and enjoyed this series. It has some great supports for those just getting into longer chapter books, but it has high interest and engaging characters for more advanced readers too. A fun series to get kids excited about traveling the world and learning about other cultures! Click here to see more Pack-n-Go Girls books.
Learn about Brazil!
Brazil is the largest country in South America and is bordered by nearly every other country on that continent! National Geographic Kids' country page about Brazil has a bunch more pictures and information. Click here to learn more. Or get some cool fun facts about Brazil here.
Photo from Spirit-Fire on Flickr, Creative Commons license
Projecto Tamar is an actual turtle rescue center active in Brazil. Their web site is in Portuguese, but you can see some amazing pictures of turtles! Or, for a more English-language-friendly experience, check out the Loggerhead Marine Center's web site here. This Florida-based organization has a lot of great photos, research, and details about how you can get involved with helping turtles!
Or, put your creative skills to the test with these fabulous sea turtle-related craft ideas:
More about Multicultural Children's Book Day
Multicultural Children’s Book Day (01/27/17) 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.
But we couldn't do it without the help of our wonderful sponsors, authors, and co-hosts!
Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press, Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books
Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin, Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson, Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O'Malley, Stacy McAnulty, Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang