This Thursday 26 January 2023 is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD), a day for celebrating diversity in children’s books. I am pleased to be a MCBD reviewer for the fifth time this year; and was delighted to receive a copy of 58 Minutes in Driftland, Journey to Another Realm from indie author I.S.A. Crisostomo-Lopez to review.
About the book
A coming-of-age story about a young Filipino immigrant in the US, Alunsinag Bayani, who despite being bullied in school, was able to discover his strengths and potential when he accidentally stepped in Driftland, an alternate realm where he could switch places with his more efficient self for 58 minutes. Together with his friends, Ju-long from Hong Kong and Tej from Bangalore, he must battle to overcome his fears and nightmares, win the heart of his crush Ziya, win the basketball tournament alongside class bully Lucas, and save Driftland as among (sic) the Warriors of Light.
About the author
I.S.A. Crisostomo-Lopez is a writer based in Binan City, Philippines. She earned her B.A. Communication Arts degree from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in 1996 and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing degree from De La Salle University Manila in 2003. She is married with four children. She has published several works of fiction including “Passage,” which was anthologized in “Hoard of Thunder 2: Philippine Short Stories in English” by UP Press. She has also written storybooks for children, “Si Lola Apura at si Lolo Un Momento” by Adarna House and “Ang Bisikleta ni Kyla,” by Philam Foundation. She has also published a science fiction trilogy, the “Driftland” series for young adult readers. Her latest novel, “The Waters of Manila Bay are Never Silent” is published by Penguin Random House Southeast Asia.
What I like about 58 Minutes in Driftland
While not my usual choice of genre, I found this novel enjoyable and easy to read. Its cast of culturally diverse teenage characters has interests similar to those of its target teenage audience, including basketball and anime. Problems with family, friends and classmates, including discrimination and bullies, are relatable, as are the questions often pondered – Who am I? Where do I belong? How do I fit in? What is my purpose in life?
The book has a positive and optimistic outlook and recognises that we all, including bullies, have fears to overcome. While the science fiction/fantasy elements are used in solving problems, it is simply a tool for helping the characters tap into their more ‘efficient’, more confident and capable selves. It empowers readers by helping them recognise and release their own unlimited potential, knowing that nothing will happen if they don’t have a go for “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” (Suzy Kassem)
One of the things I particularly like about the book is that each chapter is introduced by a motivational quote, such as the one by Kassem above. In addition, woven throughout the text, without being didactic, are words of wisdom for pondering and reflection.
While a number of situations arise and problems are solved in this book, it ends with a cliff-hanger which will encourage readers to dive into the second and third books in the series.
In 58 Minutes in Driftland science fiction meets the real world in an interesting blend of relatable characters with recognisable emotions facing familiar situations with elements of fantasy. It’s a story that will encourage readers to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. It tells us that “You never win any games you don’t play” (Mark Cuban) and that “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” (Dale Carnegie) I think these are pretty good reminders.
About Multicultural Children’s Book Day
(Information supplied by MCBD)
Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2023 (1/26/22) is in its 10th year! This non-profit children’s literacy initiative was founded by Valarie Budayr and Mia Wenjen; two diverse book-loving moms who saw a need to shine the spotlight on all of the multicultural books and authors on the market while also working to get those books into the hands of young readers and educators.
Ten years in, MCBD’s mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in homes and school bookshelves continues. Read about our Mission & History HERE.
MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Medallion Sponsors!
🏅 Super Platinum Sponsor: Author Deedee Cummings and Make A Way Media
🏅 Platinum Sponsors: Language Lizard Bilingual Books in 50+ Languages
🏅 Gold Sponsors: Interlink Books, Publisher Spotlight
Poster Artist: Lisa Wee
Classroom Kit Poster: Led Bradshaw
MCBD 2023 is honored to be Supported by these Author Sponsors!
Authors: Sivan Hong, Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett, Josh Funk , Stephanie M. Wildman, Gwen Jackson, Diana Huang, Afsaneh Moradian, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Eugenia Chu, Jacqueline Jules, Alejandra Domenzain, Gaia Cornwall, Ruth Spiro, Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo, Tonya Duncan Ellis, Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books, Kimberly Lee , Tameka Fryer Brown, Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Marcia Argueta Mickelson, Kerry O’Malley Cerra, Jennie Liu, Heather Murphy Capps, Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, Irene Latham and Charles Waters, Maritza M Mejia, Lois Petren, J.C. Kato and J.C.², CultureGroove, Lindsey Rowe Parker, Red Comet Press, Shifa Saltagi Safadi, Nancy Tupper Ling, Deborah Acio, Asha Hagood, Priya Kumari, Chris Singleton, Padma Venkatraman, Teresa Robeson, Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing, Martha Seif Simpson, Rochelle Melander, Alva Sachs, Moni Ritchie Hadley, Gea Meijering, Frances Díaz Evans, Michael Genhart, Angela H. Dale, Courtney Kelly, Queenbe Monyei, Jamia Wilson, Charnaie Gordon, Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Debbie Zapata, Jacquetta Nammar Feldman, Natasha Yim, Tracy T. Agnelli, Kitty Feld, Anna Maria DiDio, Ko Kim, Shachi Kaushik
MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by our CoHosts and Global CoHosts!
MCBD 2023 is Honored to be Supported by theseMedia Partners!
Check out MCBD’s Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board!
📌 FREE RESOURCES from Multicultural Children’s Book Day
- MCBD 2023 Poster
- Mental Health Support for Stressful Times Classroom Kit
- Diversity Book Lists & Activities for Teachers and Parents
- Homeschool Diverse Kidlit Booklist & Activity Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Activism and Activists Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Empathy Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Kindness Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Physical and Developmental Challenges Kit
- FREE Teacher Classroom Poverty Kit
- Gallery of Our Free Posters
- FREE Diversity Book for Classrooms Program
📌 Register for the MCBD Read Your World Virtual Party
Join us on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at 9 pm EST for the 10th annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day Read Your World Virtual Party!
This epically fun and fast-paced hour includes multicultural book discussions, addressing timely issues, diverse book recommendations, & reading ideas.
We will be giving away a 10-Book Bundle during the virtual party plus Bonus Prizes as well! *** US and Global participants welcome. **
Follow the hashtag #ReadYourWorld to join the conversation, and connect with like-minded parts, authors, publishers, educators, organizations, and librarians. We look forward to seeing you all on January 26, 2023, at our virtual party!