All About Sunlight, Plants, the Earth and Minerals

MISANI Special to the AmNews | 8/31/2011, 3:48 p.m.

We learn about sunlight, which gives energy to everything on earth. It

gives warmth to our land, melts our glaciers and create winds. We also learn that the sun's light gives all living things energy. This includes plants, which in turn give human beings energy when we eat them. We also learn that we get oxygen from plants.

This fantastic book points out: "Without plants, you could not live." Let's think about that for a moment. Then, let's say, "Thank you, sunlight,

Thank you, plants, thank you, oxygen." And thank you, Molly Bang and Penny Chisolm for this very special title. Your prose breathes with life. Your illustrations sing with energy. Your prose engages and teaches us.

Yes, "Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life" shows us that we are all truly connected. GoGAB affirms that in God's universe, everything is created for a purpose, just as the Kwanzaa principle points out. We also learn about the principle of cooperative work and responsibility, as the sunlight provides energy for the plants, which in turns provides food for human beings, and it continues on and on. Thank you, Creator.


"Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It"

Kwanzaa Principles: Self-Determination, Creativity, Purpose and Faith

"Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It" (Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books, 2007), by Sundee T. Frazier, is a really cool fiction story about 10-year-old Brendan, who loves science.

School is out for the summer and Brendan, who is biracial, and Gladys, his African-American grandmother (his dad's mother), unexpectedly meet Ed Dubose at the Super Mall in their town. Ed is a white man who, like Brendan, loves science. Also like Brendan, he is a mineral collector.

Later, when Brendan's mom learns about the encounter, she gets very upset and forbids Brendan from seeing Ed again. However, Brendan is drawn to Ed and he intends to find out why and solve the mystery about this stranger.

Brendan is a page-stealer. GoGAB loves this bright young scientist who uses the principles he is being taught in his Taekwondo class to help him through the various challenges that he is facing, including prejudice, racism, and standing up for what he believes in: family, friendship, love, obedience to his parents and his love and dedication for science. We also like the relationship he has with both of his parents.

Frazier's "Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It" is a pure gem. It is strong and powerful, beautiful and transparent, like some of the minerals that its memorable protagonist, Brendan Buckley, collects.

Many Kwanzaa principles ring through loud and clear in this great read.


"Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It" is the winner of a GoGAB Kwanzaa Purpose Award, and "Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life" is the winner of a GoGAB Kwanzaa Cooperative Work and Responsibility Award.


For this week's titles, please visit:

You may also visit our bookseller affiliates, in Harlem at Hue-man Bookstore ( and in SoHo at McNally/Jackson Booksellers (


All of these titles are highly recommended by Misani's Go Get a Book in Your Hand (GoGAB) Literacy Group: Kesia's Teens, Nas+ Tweens, GoGAB Young Readers for Mom-in-Chief and GoGAB Youth & MD Men for President Obama, and our partners, the Frederick Douglass Academy I, the ICAD-FTL Festival Inc. Literary Division, the "Switching on Literacy" 2011 Experience Group and the NY Amsterdam News

To contact the Go Get a Book in Your Hand Literacy Group and the GoGAB Reading Team, please email us at