by Lauren Allison
Marisol McDonald doesn’t match, and for a very good reason: she doesn’t want to!
Marisol’s mother’s family is from Peru and her father is Scottish/American. Marisol is reminded daily by everyone she knows that she doesn’t match.
She eats peanut butter and jelly burritos, wears stripes with polka dots, has brown skin and red hair, and sees no problem with a good game of soccer-playing-pirates.
She will eat a regular peanut butter and jelly sandwich – no matter how soggy the bread is; she will play pirates – no matter how bored she gets; she will wear clothes that are all the same color; and she will not draw pink elephants – no matter how sad it makes her.
At the end of the day, Marisol’s teacher hands her a note that says “I like you just the way you are.” Marisol is ecstatic and vows to always be herself from this day forward.
When her family goes to the animal shelter the next day, Marisol finds the perfect friend: he has two different colored eyes, two different ears, and he is perfect.
Told in bilingual format, everything about Marisol McDonald — from her name to her clothes — speaks of a girl straddling two worlds in the best way she knows how: with a unique take on all things Marisol.
This book (grades K-3, 2011) is a good read for parents, students, and teachers as a reminder to young children that we should always be our unique selves, and that families of blended cultures must work to foster within their children a sense of comfort with their identities.
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