[Image description: Good Finds: Stories for 8-year-olds, Raising Luminaries]
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View the full list of Inclusive Books Curated by 8-Year-Olds
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Akissi – Even More Tales of Mischief (Ages 8+)
The first two books in the Akissi series are delicious, rambunctious fun. This third though, holy crap wow. The author takes a gentle turn of depth into her feelings about emigrating and leaving her tight-knit community to a foreign European country, and ends with a lovely message about her connection with her grandfather.
I know promising a bittersweet story about leaving and loss doesn’t sell the book as a fun read, but please trust me it’s utterly lovely, sweet, hilarious, and so, so good. Part of the reason this kind of walloped me was that I went in expecting naughty capers and poop jokes, and ended up watching Akissi mature and grow up a little – kind of like what’s happening to my kids right now. Sure, the 9-year-old loved this book while he’s young, but I think he’ll get even more out of it over the next 15 years.
In addition to the depth in this book, there’s less cissexism and ‘not like the other girls’-ness than in the first two. Since all these stories are semi-autobiographical, I don’t hold the gender binaries or cissexism against the series, as they reflect the childhood cultural norms and assumptions about gender that Abouet grew up with in the 70’s/early 80’s suburbs of the her Abidjan neighborhood. Which happen to be the exact kind of sexist nonsense kids in European-colonized areas around the world.
If you like this, check out graphic novels for elementary-aged kids and inclusive stories handpicked by a kyriarchy-smashing 9-year-old.
Stay Curious, Stand Brave & Keep Reading
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