Friday, March 28, 2014

Serafina's Promise

Burg, Ann E. 2013. SERAFINA’S PROMISE. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 9780545535649. [Suggested Grade Levels 4-7]

Serafina and her family live in Haiti. Despite her family’s poverty, she wants to attend school and someday become a doctor, but her mother is pregnant again and Serafinal must help around the house. Maybe if this baby lives, she will be able to once again attend school. But life is hard. Rain washes away their home. School costs money. Her mother does not want her to go to school. After her baby brother is born, her mother decides that if she can save enough money, she can attend school. And then the earthquake comes.

Written in verse format, Burg’s supreme artistry weaves words into an exciting and realistic story of family, of hope, of poverty, and of the powerful destruction of nature. Using simple but powerful language, Burg’s word pictures are perfect:
I wish I could
jump rope and laugh
with my friends.
But I have nor brother
or sister to help with chores.
Even on Sunday
there’s no play
until all my work is done. (p. 3)

Use this book to introduce the power on nature and natural disasters. The book can also be used to introduce Haiti. Use it as a starting place to talk about poverty. The book would also serve as a model for students to write a memoir in verse format.

Benoit, Peter. THE HAITIAN EARTHQUAKE OF 2010. ISBN 9780531266250
Danticat, Edwidge. EIGHT DAYS: A STORY OF HAITI, ISBN 9780545278492

Burg, Ann E. ALL THE BROKEN PIECES. ISBN  9780545080934

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