Kicking off the start of Down Syndrome Awareness Month with a book review and giveaway.
The book itself has nothing at all to do with Down syndrome. But I'm leading off "31 for (T)21" (psss...it's not to late to join in!) with this particular book review and giveaway because, well, you'll see at the end of this post!
Black Day: The Monster Rock Band is a hard-cover, colored-illustrated, children's book. The story is about a young paperboy who discovers a rock band while he's delivering papers. He wants to join their rock band but there is one problem - the band is comprised of monsters (Frankenstein! Dracula!) and they tell him he can't join because he's a human.
That doesn't stop the paperboy from following his dreams; so with determination he finishes his route and goes back to attempt to join their band again.
I left the book on our kitchen table and my 7 year old son started reading it without any prompting from me, or me telling him where it came from, or that it was for a review. After he finished reading it, and before I could ask him what he thought about it, he closed the book and with a smile said "I really like that book!"
I asked him what he liked about it and he said, "Well, just everything!" He said he liked the monsters and the paperboy and at the end he tried to figure out who some of the people in the crowd were. I noticed that he really seemed to like the illustrations and looked at the details on each page.
Even though there are monsters in the book it isn't a scary story at all. In the end it's subtly about differences and acceptance. In this case the boy is different from the monsters, but he doesn't see that as a reason to not join their band.
So why am I showcasing this children's book, that has nothing to do with Down syndrome, for 31 for (T)21? Because of the author, that's why.
The author is Marcus Sikora and he is a young man with Down syndrome who wrote this book (the idea, dialogue, plot twists) along with some help of fine-tuning from his mom, author Mardra Sikora.
Marcus has a natural talent as a storyteller and has always been interested in stories, but leaning towards plays/musicals (he's had a one-act produced by a high school). Marcus and his mom write every weekend and one day he started talking about a monster rock band called Black Day. His father suggested they write a children's book and that is when the story became more defined.
Mardra and Marcus have been doing book readings across the country (see events here) and they are going to be in my neck of the woods in a couple of weeks!
I'm so excited to take my kids to Wonder Works Toy Store in Charleston on Saturday, Oct 10 from 2-4pm (they'll also be at the location in Mt Pleasant earlier that day; if you're in Greenville they'll be there too!). I think this will be a neat experience for them to meet Marcus so they can connect him as the author of a book they've read and like (Kayla said she doesn't like the monsters, because monsters, but she likes the story). If you are in the Charleston area come out and meet the author for a book reading - he'll sign a book for you too! (If you're not able to make it to the event Wonder Works will carry Black Day: The Monster Rock Band after Oct 10).
Enter to win your own copy of the book here by leaving a comment stating who you would like to win this book for (contest closes on Oct 15 so it can arrive before Halloween).
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