MN Reads: "Sam and the Incredible African and American Food Fight" by Shannon Gibney
Sam is torn. His mother loves to cook American foods like meatballs, tacos and homemade pizza. His aunt loves to cook traditional Liberian dishes like rice with okra and eggplant soup. Each night, the family gathers around the table where Sam is pressured to choose a meal. What is Sam to do?
The storyline for Sam and the Incredible African and American Food Fight by Shannon Gibney is simple enough for young readers to digest, but layered with themes and lessons that touch on deep topics like acceptance, family and culture. "This is a cross-cultural family," says Gibney who experienced a similar circumstance around the dinner table. "There are definitely tensions in our family around food and other aspects of culture." Representation was also a guiding factor for the author. "I just wasn't seeing any books that really represented our family... so I had to write one."
Sam and the Incredible African and American Food Fight can be found at various booksellers. “I would prefer that you patronize your local independent bookstore,” say Gibney. The book can be purchased online at bookshop.org
Minnesota Reads is produced at The North 103.3 with funding provided in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.