Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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****Open Your Eyes

Extraordinary Experiences in Faraway Places

edited by Jill Davis

Reviewed February 18, 2004.
Viking, New York, 2003.  203 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #3, Children's Nonfiction

I’ve always liked books and essays about cross-cultural experiences.  Here is a collection of such stories, written by authors of children’s books.

My favorite was the essay by M. T. Anderson, author of Feed.  He figured out why he felt more alive while he lived in England:  “Nothing seemed like living unless it was like something that I had read in a book.”  I can’t help but wonder if there’s something like that in my own love of living in Europe.

Another favorite was Susie Morgenstern’s perspective of what it was like for her French children to have an American Mom.  The most powerful story was the one by Piper Dellums about what happened when her family had a white, prejudiced South African to stay with them when they were expecting a black South African, and the South African was expecting a white congressman’s family rather than that of a black congressman.

This is a delightful collection, accessible to kids, but also enjoyable for adults.  It’s perfect for our readers in Germany—perhaps they will think about how their own experiences compare.  It’s also perfect for kids in America to get an idea of the big, wide world out there.

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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