¡Mira Look!: Eight Days, A Story of Haiti

eight days coverSaludos, todos! This week marks the beginning of our February theme on Haiti. As Keira explains in her Sobre Febrero post, we’ve decided to celebrate Black History Month by focusing on Afro-Caribbean narratives: “When we’ve discussed Black History Month in the past, we’ve broadened the conversation by looking at resources related to the vast African diaspora of Latin America, which in itself is a worthwhile endeavor because African history is deeply entwined with Latin American history. This year we want to go deeper by focusing on the Afro-Caribbean experience specifically.” To this end, I have decided to focus this month’s children’s books on Haitian authors and Haitian narratives: “...in February our writers will turn their attention to Afro-Caribbean cultures and specifically Haiti, a country whose people are of predominantly African descent and whose complicated history is frequently overlooked or simplified. Our hope is that these resources will contribute to teaching and learning about this remarkable country.” Some of this month’s book reviews will continue to dialogue with last month’s themes on civil rights and human rights. Across it all, we will also celebrate the spirit of Valentine’s day by emphasizing themes of love (love of self, love of community) through our conversations about Haiti. As Keira beautifully put it, this month’s theme “continues our earlier focus on social justice and activism, both of which can be seen as outpourings of love for the world and society around us.

Our book for this week is Eight Days, A Story of Haiti written by Edwidge Danticat and illustrated by Alix Delinois. Last month we also featured a book by Edwidge Danticat, Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation, in recognition of our themes on civil rights. We have previously featured other educator’s guides and reviews on books about Haiti, including Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg, Krik? Krak! also by Edwidge Danticat, and In Darkness by Nick Lake. This last book, In Darkness, is a Young Adult novel that follows a very similar story line to that of Eight Days, A Story of Haiti. This may be useful for educators interested in pursuing these themes with older students. Continue reading