Thursday, October 11, 2018

MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN by Nancy Churnin & Danny Popovici


I really loved this book! It’s a great story to share when talking about perseverance or even just to read when you need a bit of inspiration.

Summary from the publisher:

Cover image for a review of a picture book about Dashrath Manjhi who chiseled a path between two mountains, reviewed by Andrea L Mack at www.andrea-mack.blogspot.comDashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if their heart is big enough.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain was written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Danny Popovici. It was published by Creston Books in 2017.

Opening:     

Deep in the heart of India, a mighty mountain separated two villages.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

The carefully chosen details in this story made it come alive for me. I could easily imagine “their pockets jangled with money” and “Powdered rock and tiny chips sprayed.” Another excellent model for writers who are interested in telling narrative non-fiction.

The illustrations are perfect for this story. I love the warm browns and especially the beautiful night sky on the page where Manjhi worked into the night.  

My Thoughts as an Educator:

This story made me marvel over what a single person can accomplish. There’s a thought-provoking question in the text: Why should some people have so much and others so little? This book would be excellent to discuss with both primary and junior level students. I think children will be amazed and impressed by Manjhi’s hard work and what he accomplished. A great choice for a school library.

 Ages: 4 - 10

Grades: K – 5

Themes: determination, perseverance, goals

Activities:

Retell: Build a mountain of blocks or rocks and use puppets or pictures to retell Manjhi’s story.

Imagine: Imagine you are one of the villagers. How will an opening through the mountain change your life? Draw a picture or write a paragraph to explain. Will you welcome the change? Talk with a classmate who has a different point of view.

Think: Is there something you can do to make things better for your family or community? How could you do it?  

13 comments:

  1. Wow! Twenty years? Now that's perseverance!
    I love your activities ... very thoughtful.

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  2. Andrea, I love this book. The title was so captivating that I had to read it. Love your activities.

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    1. Nancy's story is wonderful. Such great language and so pared down it works for primary kids as well as older ones.

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  3. It's great to see a review of this book. I discovered it recently at my library, read it, and enjoyed it. I love the question you posed of how an opening through a mountain could change your life. I can already see the sea of waving hands and hear the chatter of countless children's voices ready to answer first.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Leslie. It would be an interesting writing exercise, too. Maybe I'll try it today myself!

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  4. This book is moving up on my TBR pile. Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts as an educator and providing activities to pair with the book.

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    1. You're welcome, Jilanne! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. This is a great pick. The story is so inspiring! I love his persistence!

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  6. A wonderful book - to remind us that we all can move mountains when we try. Some of stone, some of prejudice.

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