Saving Sunshine -- Middle Grade Graphic Novel Review with Turtle Craft Round-Up


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

I feel like it has been a while since I shared a middle grade book. I am behind on my reading. Today however I am sharing a new (out today) middle grade graphic novel. This book delves into the differences of people and cultures as well as a bit about a loggerhead turtle. To go with this book, I am providing a round-up of over 30 turtle crafts, activities, and more. The book is Saving Sunshine by Saadia Faruqi and illustrated by Shazleen Khan. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12. 

From the Publisher:

From Saadia Faruqi and Shazleen Khan comes a relatable, funny, and heart-wrenchingly honest graphic novel about Muslim American siblings who must learn how to stop fighting and support each other in a world that is often unkind.

It's hard enough being a kid without being teased for a funny sounding name or wearing a hijab.

It's even harder when you're constantly fighting your sibling—and Zara and Zeeshan really can't stand each other. During a family trip to Florida, when the bickering, shoving, and insults reach new heights of chaos, their parents sentence them to the worst possible fate— each other’s company! But when the twins find an ailing turtle, it presents a rare opportunity for teamwork—if the two can put their differences aside at last.

From Me:

This book has so many things to talk about. There is the part of the twins fighting and wanting to do different things. Zeeshan is into everything NASA, and Zara is into animals and in particular animal activism. They are both addicted to their cell phones. Zeeshan wants to watch NASA videos and Zara wants to take photographs of all the nature she sees. They fight nonstop and their parents are pediatricians that are going to a conference where their mom is receiving an award. When their parents take away their phones, they are miserable. Yup this story has the sibling squabbles and differences as well as the tween/teen addiction to technology, but there is more. 

Each of the twins express their feelings about how people treat them because of their skin color and Muslim manners. Zara has made the decision to wear a hijab and feels Zeeshan does not support her when others say things about it. Zeeshan doesn't like how people imply they are not American or from the United States. Through the story we see both of them react and even discuss it with their family and each other. 

Throughout the story we see the siblings' relationship grow and them come back together as friends. The book also shares some memories from when they were younger to help explain their feelings. Honestly this book is wonderful. It has so much put into it with life of siblings to diversity issues and then the fact that Zara finds a sick turtle and wants to help it. She does some research and eventually gets Zeeshan to help her save the turtle. It is a great book to add to any middle grades library or classroom. I hope you will check it out!

Craft Round-Up

To go with the book I thought a turtle craft would be fun. This craft round-up has crafts for many different ages. Some may be youngish for the range this book is for, but I always think it is interesting to see what the older kids can do with the craft to make it their own. The third collage has crafts that are definitely meant for older kids.

1. Toothbrush Painted Turtle from Growing Through God's Word/Janis Cox

2. Dot Painted Turtle from Little Bins for Little Hands

3. Sea Turtle Life Cycle Coloring Page from Homeschool of 1

4. Color Wheel Turtle from Messy Little Monster (great tie in with art class)

5. Tadeo Turtle Review with Paper Plate Turtle Craft

6. Printable Paper Plate Turtle from In the Playroom

7. Paper Plate Turtle Craft from Crafts by Ria

8. Tissue Paper and Paper Plate Turtle from Fireflies and Mud Pies

9. Paper Plate Turtle from Beth Ann Averill

10. Bobble Head Turtle from Arty Crafty Kids

11. Turtle Paper Bag Puppet from Simple Everyday Mom

12. Sea Turtle Paper Craft from Messy Little Monster

13. Cardboard 3-D Paper Turtle from Our Kid Things

14. Crumpled Paper Turtle from Artsy Craftsy Mom

15. Turtle Corner Bookmark from Red Ted Art

16. Sea Turtle Lapbook from Homeschool Share

17. Turtle Headband from Simple Everyday Mom

18. Handprint Turtle Craft from Crafts by Ria

19. Sea Turtle Life Cycle Coloring Page from Homeschool of 1

20. Small World Play Tray for the Life Cycle of a Turtle from Finding Myself Young

21. Button and CD Turtle from Fireflies and Mud Pies

22. Bottle Cap Turtle from Growing Through God's Word/Janis Cox

23. Playdough Turtle Activities from Barley and Birch

24. Sea Glass Turtle Craft from Red Ted Art

25. Rock Turtle

26. Seashell Turtle from Fun Money Mom

27. Carved Soap Turtle from Growing Through God's Word/Janis Cox

28. Fabric Mosaic Turtle from Crafts by Amanda

29. Needle Felted Turtle

30. Yarn Turtle Craft from The Craft Train

31. Turtle Crochet Pattern from Craft Alot on Red Ted Art

32. Fabric Turtle from Growing Through God's Word/Janis Cox

33. Go Wild! Sea Turtles Review with Craft Round-Up

34. Maya and the Turtle: A Korean Fairy Tale Review great to add in multicultural aspect.

35. Yoshi Sea Turtle Genius Review with Craft Round-Up

FYI: Growing Through God's Word/Janis Cox has many different turtle craft ideas to go with Janis's book Tadeo Turtle.