Wednesday, November 1, 2017

"Ten Cents a Pound" - a bookwrap


"Ten Cents a Pound"

Authored by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Illustrated by Josíe Bisaillon

Ages: 7-10
Grade Level: 4-6

Unwrapping some wonderful illustrations for you to enjoy 

About the book

"Ten cents a pound is what I'll earn,
To buy these books and set you free."

Thus is the mantra of a very loving mother as she sacrifices herself to give her daughter a much better future.  

We are privileged to listen in to a very intimate conversation between the two.  The little girl sadly looks at her mother's worn feet and hands because she daily picks coffee beans and receives a measly ten cents a pound for her backbreaking labor.  The little girl has so much empathy for mother and insists she should stay home to help her survive the often unbearable conditions.  Unconditional love flows from her mother's heart and she insists that her daughter look beyond their simple village life and the barrier of mountains, read educational books and dream big.   Her mother tells her that she can achieve a much better quality of life than what is offered to her now if she does so.  

The little girl cares for her mother so much.  She wants to stay and help her.  She sees that her mother's back is always bent and aching from incessant toiling and her eyes can no longer thread a needle or count her meagre coins at the end of the day.  Her mother's response back is pure love...

"My child listen with your ears if you refuse to see.
I am bound to these mountains and our villages,
Where the coffee grows, row on row,
For ten cents a pound is all that I know" ...

"Yes, where the road winds high and low,
Is where a spirited flower like you should grow,
The sights beyond these mountains and villages
Are for you to behold."

Does the little girl heed her mother's wise advice and leave the poverty that they now live in?  Will she receive an education and  never return to her village and her mother once she is freed?  Sadly, sometimes that happens. What will she choose to do? 

This gentle, heartfelt story will pull at your heartstrings and you will realize how blessed you are not to have to make those difficult and challenging decisions with and for your child.  How totally beautiful that this precious mother will give up everything in her world to see her daughter escape from their cycle of poverty and achieve a fulfilling and prosperous life.   If her daughter chooses to go it will make her mother's dream for her come true and her heart will be filled with joy.    I highly, highly recommend this book. 

Storywraps Rating - 5+++HUGS!!!!!

About the author

        NHUNG N. TRAN-DAVIES is a physician and advocate for social justice through education. Her family came to Canada as refugees from Vietnam in 1979, and in 2013 Nhung founded the Children of Vietnam Benevolent Foundation. She spoke at the UN’s International Organization on Migration in Geneva as part of their “I am a Migrant” campaign to help reduce hate speech and promote tolerance. Nhung and her family live outside of Edmonton, Alberta.

About the illustrator

          JOSÉE BISAILLON has illustrated more than 20 picture books and has produced numerous editorial illustrations. Her work has received recognition from Applied Arts, American Illustration, and The Society of Illustrators. She has been shortlisted twice for Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Awards. Josée lives near Montreal, Québec with her family.

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