Monday, April 08, 2019

MMGM- Orange for the Sunsets

It's Marvelous Middle Grade Monday at Always in the Middle and #IMWAYR day at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers. It's also Nonfiction Monday.

Athaide, Tina. Orange for the Sunsets
April 2nd 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Asha's family has lived in Uganda for many years. Her father works with the department of tourism, her mother is a nurse, and Asha enjoys going to school in a mainly Indian school.  She is best friends with Yesofu, who is African and whose mother works for Asha's family. As the two get older, Yesofu starts to realize the disparities in the way Indians and Africans are treated; for example, on their soccer team, Yesofu gets little playing time even though he is one of the best players. When Idi Amin comes to power, the social construct comes into question. When Uganda was under British rule in the 1880s, Indian workers were brought in to help build railways. Many stayed, and they ended up being in a social strata below the British, who held power, and the Ugandas, who were shut out of many jobs. Amin doesn't like this, and wants to return "Africa to the Africans". This means that Indians must leave the country. The exact parameters of this changed; at first, Asha's family thinks they can stay because they have protected jobs, but soon even those residents who are citizens are forced out. Not only that, but to "help" the economy, the Indians leaving are not allowed to take most of their money with them, and must sell their properties to the government. Asha doesn't want to leave, and when she sees her father making plans, takes the family's passports and hides them. As the clock ticks down, many of her friends leave, businesses stand empty, and protests and riots against the Indians become more frequent. Yesofu loves Asha, but he also sees that his people have fewer opportunities than hers, and begins to support Dada Amin. When an indiscretion on the part of Asha and Yesofu causes the arrest of Asha's father, Asha and her mother know that they must leave their beloved homeland even though they don't want to.
Strengths: This was an excellent mix of daily life, politics, friendship and suspense. It also covers a point in history of which I was completely ignorant, since I started reading the newspaper in 1974, when Nixon resigned. It managed to realistically portray both Asha's feelings of anger and disbelief at being displaced from her home and also Yesofu's feelings of injustice in equally sympathetic terms. The author left Uganda as a young child, and drew upon conversations with friends and relatives who remembered this event, which makes it all the more impressive that she was able to give Yesofu's concerns voice.
Weaknesses: There were a few moments were it felt like I had heard Asha's complaints before, but that probably bothered me only because I really, really wanted to know what happened next!
What I really think: Definitely purchasing, and glad to have this to add to a collection of riveting novels set around the world, like Amal Unbound, The Night Diary, Everlasting Nora, The Bridge Home, Running on the Roof of the World, and Stand on the Sky.

Washburn, Esme and Calista (Photographs)
20 Recipes Kids Should Know

April 2nd 2019 by Prestel Junior
Copy provided by Media Masters Publicity

My 85-year-old father buys Aunt Jemima scrambled egg breakfasts because his home economics education was so sorely lacking that the only two things he can cook are chili and beef stew. Don't let this happen to the children in your life!

This cookbook starts with basic terms and information that all young cooks need, and I appreciated that the author cited the sources of some of her recipes in the notes. The instructions are very complete, which is suitable to beginning cooks, and the measurements are given in both English and Metric amounts. This is a large format book (9.8 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches), so there are large illustrations of the finished products.

This is broken down nicely into meals, snacks, and sides, and the recipes are in fact good ones for children to know. I might have made a few substitutions-- oatmeal instead of banana bread for breakfast; a different soup other than black bean for lunch; and dinners not quite as heavy on the meat for dinner. The sides of roasted vegetables and mashed potatoes are quite good, and the desserts are also essential-- cake, pie, cookies, and strawberry shortcake. (Which I would probably have replaced by the banana bread!)

I'm a sucker for cookbooks, and if this weren't so appealing and colorful, I would probably give it to my father instead of offering it to students in my library. There's hope for them; for my father, not so much!


  1. Riveting Novels Around the World sounds like a great book display -- got to remember that for next year.

  2. Haven't heard of Orange is for Sunset until today. Like you, I knew nothing about Indian's living in Uganda. I like that it is based on a true story. Thanks for reviewing as this book is one I'll want to read!

  3. Orange for the Sunsets sounds like a terrific book. Thanks for telling me about it.

  4. Thanks so much for the information about Orange for the Sunsets. I have a friend who's family fled Uganda during that time. They have a 13 year old daughter. Would it be appropriate for her?

  5. Definitely! I'm sure that it would spark lots of interesting conversations, since everyone's experiences in any historical event are different. Now I really want a book about people living Zaire/Congo in the 1980s, because I have friends who did that.

  6. At some point, I put Orange for the Sunsets on my TBR list, but I don't recall reading much about it before now. This sounds fantastic! I just saw it available through Overdrive yesterday, but my loan count was already full. Now that I have finished another book, I'll have to see if I can still grab it up. Thank you for the thorough review. And YES on the cooking training with children. I have WAY too many cookbooks, but I'll admit I tend to just look up recipes online these days and check out the reviews and comment section for pointers. I sure hope my kids will leave the home knowing how to cook for themselves.

  7. Orange for the Sunsets sounds like a great book. I hadn't heard of it before. The cookbook sounds good too. Thanks for sharing.