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The Remarkable Maria    by Patti McIntosh & Tara Langlois order for
Remarkable Maria
by Patti McIntosh
Order:  USA  Can
Maggie & Pierrot, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This story takes place in Suriname, South America, and features drawings by the children of SMART, Suriname Art. It tells the tale of a girl called Maria, and how she became remarkable.

Maria's father died of HIV/AIDS when she was small and then, after they moved to live with her uncle, her mother became ill as well. Maria looked after her small sister Wilhelmina (Willie), and her uncle's neighbor, Mrs. Mackenzie looked out for her and Willie. After Maria's mother died, her uncle took them to an orphanage. Then, Maria was able to go to school.

But at school, the other children were not allowed to play with Maria because she was sick (she didn't understand and became anxious). Luckily, Mrs. Mackenzie came with an invitation for Maria to appear on her favorite TV show, Babbel Box, and even organized a dress for her. She sang, danced, shined, and was remarkable on the show.

Maria tells us now that she knows dreams can come true, she has new ones - which is what every child is entitled to, after all. The Remarkable Maria is an important story about fear, prejudice, exclusion, and how they can be overcome by individual action and hope. The book can be purchased at Maria's website and deserves a wide readership.

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