Finish The Story! Harriet Tubman’s Secret Raid

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2022 (1/28/22) is in its 9th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen, two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.

MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves. Read about our Mission & History HERE.

*Be sure to check out the impressive list of free resources available for parents and educators at the end of this blog.
"Finish The Story! Harriet Tubman's Secret Raid" by Jeffrey Bensam blends a fast-moving, colorfully-illustrated adventure with a carefully researched, true historical backstory. The book's 20+ interactive challenges are hard to put down and great to share with friends. Free printable downloads of the challenges, puzzles, and budget sheets so that you can replay the story or make it a group or class adventure are also available. 
Jeffrey Bensam is an author and storyteller who creates (and lives) hands-on, multicultural adventures. After he failed to become the "Bagel King of Bangladesh," he graduated from Dartmouth College, University of California, Berkeley, and UCLA and spent the first two decades of his career helping international publishers bring their products and content to audiences across the Asia-Pacific region. During the past 10 years, Jeffrey has produced more than 50 programs covering history, world cultures, and STEAM topics for children from ages 5 to 15. He lives with his wife and son in Shanghai, China where he has entertained thousands of families with his kid's story podcasts. www.instagram/jeffreybensam/
Jeff Sprafkin, publisher from Storyopolis Press (Story-Based Learning Adventures) for gifting me this book to review.
Book Reviewer Sue Ready is a freelance writer, food blogger, book reviewer of all genres, and a former teacher. 

I knew I was "in" for this fun reading adventure just by the cover that advertised choose how to relive a real Civil War mission with all 20+interactive challenges and  3 possible endings. 
The book begins with a plausible story scenario. Danny and Kenna are watching TV at Danny's grandma's house when a storm knocks out the power. They're left with nothing to do but listen to another one of his grandma's "when-I-was-a-kid" stories. But this doesn't turn out to be an ordinary story for the two kids as they learn
firsthand about Harriet Tubman, an American Civil War heroine. 
With a bit of imagination on the reader's part, Danny and Kenna take the reader on a secret mission time travel adventure with Harriet for the Union Army. Through a series of interactive challenges, the reader is invited to help Danny and Kenna as they assist  Harriet on her secret mission. 

As a former teacher, I found this book to have the appropriate vocabulary for grades 3-6 with a high-level interest for that age group. The reader can choose to go on a solo adventure with Danny and Kenna or take their whole class along on the secret Civil War mission with Harriet. The possibility of time travel always generates interest among readers. This book is not intended to be read in one sitting but in several, as the reader/s takes on challenges that follow clues and hints, examines several interactive charts, learns how to manage a budget, and ultimately makes a prediction for a suitable ending. Many of the suggested activities cross several classroom disciplines. The idea of having 3 different endings to choose from promotes collaborative decision-making.  

Two bonuses for the reader are learning about an important time period in history and acquiring numerous historical tidbits. I thought the author was clever in how he incorporated today's technology in the book's introduction The reader is encouraged to scan a QR code for taking on an extra bonus challenge for the secret mission.  The introduction also provides information on how to use the book with an Ebook reader. The book offers a variety of possibilities to keep the reader engaged in a fun learning adventure.   

Two ideas if you're looking at using the book in a library, classroom, or in your home.

1. Watch the trailer

2 There are free, downloadable printable challenges (the same ones that appear in the book) you can access by scanning the QR code at the end of the book's introduction.  These printables enable students to re-do the challenges and Beat the Budget worksheets as many times as they would like.  You can use this to create various group reading activities and challenges around the book, e.g. students can make different budget decisions and see who is able to finish the mission with the most remaining money.

MCBD 2022 is honored to be supported by these Medallion Sponsors!

MCBD 2022 is honored to be supported by these Author Sponsors!
Charlene Mosley (official MCBD2022 Poster Creator)
Illustrator Isabelle Roxas (Class Kit Poster Creator)
Alva Sachs, Brianna Carter, Ebony Zay Zay, Rita Bhandari, Gwen Jackson, Lois Petren/The 5 Enchanted Mermaids, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Josh Funk, Afsaneh Moradian, Eugenia Chu, Maritza Martínez Mejía, Diana Huang, Kathleen Burkinshaw, CultureGroove, Sandra Elaine Scott, Dorena Williamson, Veronica Appleton, Alejandra Domenzain, Lauren Muskovitz and Sandfish Publishing, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kimberly Lee, Susan Schaefer Bernardo & Illustrator Courtenay Fletcher, Nancy Tupper Ling, Winsome Hudson-Bingham, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Sivan Hong, Michael Genhart, Debbie Dadey, Elizabeth Cureton, Stephanie Wildman, Maryann Jacob, Sherri Maret, Rochelle Melander, Dia Mixon, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young, Shereen Rahming, Linda Thornburg and Katherine Archer, Rebecca Flansburg and BA Norrgard , Maxine Schur Natalie McDonald-Perkins

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Check out MCBD's Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!

FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents
Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit
FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit
FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit
FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit
FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit
FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit
FREE Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit
FREE Teacher Classroom Raising Awareness on Systemic Racism in America Classroom Kit
Gallery of Our Free Posters
FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program

Join us on Friday, Jan 28, 2022, at 9 pm EST for the 8th annual Multicultural Children's Book Day Twitter Party! Be sure and follow MCBD and Make A Way Media on Twitter!
This especially fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.