Little Flower Novelettes Reviewed by Dr. Takeda LeGrand, Diversified Comprehensive Solutions, LLC

Griffin, F. Bell (2014). Where Little Flower Got Her Power: A Little Flower Novelette (Children of The World Storybook and Educational Series). College Station, Texas: ARC Communications, LLC. 103 pp., ISBN: 978-0990554028

Griffin, F. Bell (2014). How Little Flower Got Her Power and Almost Lost It: A Little Flower Novelette (Children of The World Storybook and Educational Series). College Station, Texas: ARC Communications, LLC. 115 pp., ISBN: 978-0990554066

Griffin, F. Bell (2014). Little Flower Conquers the World…Almost: A Little Flower Novelette (Children of The World Storybook and Educational Series). College Station, Texas: ARC Communications, LLC. 117 pp., ISBN: 978-0990554073

Reviewed by Dr. Takeda LeGrand, Diversified Comprehensive Solutions, LLC

The Children of The World Storybook and Educational Series details the experiences of a young girl growing up in the segregated south amidst the turmoil of the Civil Rights Era. The heroine, Little Flower, finds herself navigating the maze of life recognizing inequality and leading the fight for change while dealing with the struggles of young teens. The story balances the commonalities of the human experience growing up transitioning from youth to adolescence and integrates historical context to show how the times and culture impact everyday life. The overall goal of the series is to instill a sense of pride in the heritage of minorities, encourage a sense of community and respect for all individuals, and empower young adults to be agents of positive change.

Many limit the purpose of education to content knowledge in core academic areas such as reading, mathematics, science, and social studies or exposure to the arts and technologies. Yet in order to produce well-rounded, productive, and competent citizens, educators must teach skills beyond academic content. This underlying curriculum helps students to develop morals, manners, civic and social consciousness, and the skills that promote emotional and mental wellbeing. Early in the series, the author introduces readers to a character that is developing those characteristics and throughout the series, learns how to apply an array of good character traits in different situations. Although she does not always understand how to respond appropriately, the dialogue and reflection that the author takes the characters through to arrive at what is appropriate models reflection and self-improvement at a level young readers can understand and learn similar strategies.

A central message of the book concerns empowerment. High emphasis is placed on the importance of education in examples from the author’s life demonstrated through the actions of the main character’s family. This is furthermore reinforced through the church, a central hub of the character’s community, where awareness, equality, and responsibility are highlighted through historical accounts of prominent figures in the African American community. The message of education as a tool to empower and improve is clear. The book also seeks to provide young minority females with a sense of empowerment. Little Flower’s resiliency, tenacity, ambition and drive reflect a can do attitude and positive self-image.

Young readers will find the story of Little Flower appealing. Dealing with issues that young readers are experiencing in schools today such as bullying, finding and maintaining friends, peer pressure, balance of school and home, young readers should easily identify with the heroine as she begins her transition in life. Little Flower encourages young readers to not only find and embrace their own uniqueness as they face life’s challenges but also maintain a positive self-image.

The Little Flower Novelette series affords educators with an array of opportunities to engage students in meaningful, authentic, discussion and activities. Students between the ages of 10 – 13 should be able to easily understand the reading and content while drawing diverse connections. The series has the ability to cross-curricular areas in English/Language Arts and Social Studies and draw parallels to current affairs. Efforts of school culture can also be addressed within this context in efforts to make schools an inclusive community. Likewise, within the lens of literature, the series has solid progression and storylines that lend itself to teach using a number of literary concepts and devices.

About The Educational Reviewer: Dr. Takeda LeGrand holds a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. A published Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment professional, Dr. LeGrand resides in North Carolina, where she serves as a county-wide Executive School Administrator, Adjunct Professor and Faculty Site Supervisor for two major universities. Additionally, she is the Chief Operating Officer at Diversified Comprehensive Solutions, LLC., an education development focused company.