Ladder to the Moon is written by President Obama’s half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, who lives in Honolulu and is a lecturer at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. The lexile measure is AD830L, which translates to a 5th grade reading level. AD means that the book is best suited for an adult to read the as book reviews and publishers have suggested interest level directed at children aged 4 to 8. Because of the big ideas mentioned below, the content is suitable for students in middle school. The book contains wistful, colorful illustrations and totals 48 pages.
The author wrote the book as a means through which her daughter could get to know her kupuna, grandmother, who passed away before she was born. The central theme that envelopes the story is about having compassion and empathy for others. Big ideas that fall under this theme include: inter-connectedness, confronting challenges and difficulties of globalization, mutual respect, and the paradigm shift of thinking and learning about the world. Suhaila journeys to the moon to spend time with her grandmother helping and healing those left on Earth. When Suhaila returns home, she is fulfilled by knowing her grandmother and internally accepts the responsibility to mālama all people.
Ladder to the Moon could serve as a great mentor text for writing complex sentences in the upper elementary grades. It masterfully includes dialogue in unexpected places, which can be besotting to the reader. The book also contains intriguing prose like, “the path carved by the moon’s glow”, and “two tall towers that trembled and swayed on quaking soil”. For these teaching purposes, the book is suited for the older child.
You’ll be happy to hear that this book is available at our very own Charles Reed Bishop Learning Center! Come by soon to “check it out”!