Published by Picture Window Books
Summary: Sadiq is excited to be part of a new video game club, along with his friends Manny and Zaza. They meet in the school library with librarian Mr. Kim, who reminds them that part of being in a club is finding a way to help others. Sadiq often goes with his mother when she volunteers at the local assisted-living home, and he’s seen Mr. Soto, a new resident who seems lonely. When Mr. Soto tells Sadiq he used to be a racecar driver and gives him some tips for getting to the next level of Screech Master 7000, Sadiq has the idea that the gamers’ club can visit the older people. Before long the club is meeting weekly at Harmony House, and new friendships are growing. The wisdom that the residents share helps the club win their first tournament. Includes a glossary, discussion questions, extension activities, and Somalian facts and terms. 64 pages; grades 1-3.
Pros: I just discovered this series when I visited a bookstore this weekend and was excited to see an early chapter book series with a Somali main character (there are a number of Somali students at my school). It’s a straightforward story with an emphasis on family and friends helping each other and plenty of illustrations. The first four books were published in 2020.
Cons: I found it a little confusing to have the Somali terms defined at the beginning of the story and the glossary at the end.