Author Varsha Bajaj created an amazing story in Count me In. The theme of racism is a heavy subject to address for the intended younger audience but the approach she took was perfect. It could have easily turned into something hateful against those who are racist but she kept it kind and unbiased. This is a story that will be engaging for children (and adults) but also teach them the importance of being inclusive and standing up for those who are being excluded or oppressed. The main characters are wonderful, and the relationships that develop throughout the story are beautiful. This could easily be a biography and felt very authentic from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book to anyone ages nine and up–including parents, as it will provide a great opportunity to teach and start discussions about racism in a natural way. My children will definitely be reading this. #Countmein
This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Nancy Paulsen Books
Profanity/Language: 1 scatological word.
Note: 1 religious exclamation abbreviation (OMG); 2 incidents of characters saying swear words but words not specified.
Violence/Gore: Several (16) brief incidents including smashed berries look like blood; characters threatened with a knife; verbal fighting; references to murders; reference to hyenas eating each other; reference to firing squad; second-hand report of character falling and splitting lip; reference to fighting in a video game; second-hand report of man dying in car accident; reference to battles; adult character pushes a young character down; young character elbows another; character dreams of fighting a dragon; adult character pushed down and receives life-threatening injuries; character cut open for surgery.
Sex/Nudity: One incident of a character seeing another in a hospital gown and sees his naked behind.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Reference to wine.