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This is another unusual novel from the Kids’ Power Series from Second Story Press in Canada. It is based on the true story of Lisa Jo Sun Walk, who as a teenager helped raise money for African grandmothers.

Lacey, a 12-year-old Blackfoot girl living in Alberta, Canada, learns about the plight of African grandmothers raising their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. Although Lacey’s life is very difficult–she is one of 8 siblings in a poor family–she is determined to participate in the Grandmothers to Grandmothers program.

With her grandmother’s help,¬†Lacey learns to sew and decorate purses and bags. Community members donate fabric, decorations, and time, and together they make about 30 purses, which they sell to raise money for the African grandmothers.

Then, Lacey learns something amazing: two African grandmothers are touring Canada to publicize the Grandmothers to Grandmothers program, and they want to come see her and her community! The entire community works together to prepare food, gifts, and performances for Florence and Zubeda from Kenya. Lacey realizes that these African grandmothers remind her of the elders in her own community.

The book is illustrated with actual photographs of tote bags made by Lisa Jo Sun Walk and her family and friends, and photos of the African grandmothers’ visit.

Based on reading level alone, this book would be appropriate for kids 8 and up. However, because of some mature content, I would recommend it for kids 11 and up. For example, Lacey’s 17-year-old sister is in a relationship with a young man who is verbally abusive to her. Teen pregnancy is front and center, since much of the book takes place at an alternative high school for girls who have given birth.

This inspiring book is highly recommended. I have included it on my girls list.