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Friday, January 28, 2022

TCBR AWARENESS TOUR: Finding Family Treasure by K.I. Knight & Jane R. Wood - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're hosting a stop along The Children's Book Review awareness tour featuring a work of Children's Fiction that takes us into the classroom. It seems a group of students has just started a family tree project that is about to turn into so much more than simply untangling your familial roots.  Ladies and gents, take a closer look at today's title in the spotlight...

K. I. Knight and Jane R. Wood
Ages 7 and Up | 142 Pages
Melting Pot Press LLC

About the book...
 “Who are we?” Ms. Johansson asks her class of fifth graders. Her perplexed students soon discover the lesson she wants them to learn. While studying the founding of their country, the class is challenged to understand the melting pot that makes up the American people-both past and present.

With the help of a genealogist, students learn to navigate websites that introduce them to written records that have documented their families’ histories. Because the class is comprised of students with roots to many nationalities and ethnic groups, including African American, Native American, Mexican, Cuban, Irish, Italian, Polish, Scandinavian, Lebanese, and Japanese immigrants, the diversity in their own class becomes apparent.

To assist in their research, the teacher gives the students an assignment of interviewing their parents and grandparents, to learn more about the members of their families. One by one, the young people hear family stories connecting them to America’s earliest immigrants and settlers. The students also learn about historical events their ancestors witnessed or experienced, including the early settlement of Virginia, the American Revolution, the Underground Railroad, the Trail of Tears, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, early immigration processing at Ellis Island, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Holocaust.

As the story unfolds, some personal conflicts occur among the students, long-standing family tensions surface, and intergenerational relationships evolve. Complex issues such as privacy, adoption, diversity, immigration, slavery, and antisemitism are addressed in an age-appropriate manner.

Excited by what they have discovered, the students plan a program to share their findings with their families. Working together in small groups, they create a slide presentation of vintage photographs, a fashion show demonstrating various ethnic attire, music and food from different cultures, and visual displays showcasing military medals, artifacts, musical instruments, and family heirlooms.

Their family history project further inspires the students to want to do something more to honor past generations. With the help of a cemetery preservationist, they plan a clean-up day at a local graveyard in need of attention. Parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters join the class on a Saturday to help restore the final resting place of those who came before them.

As a result of their research project, the students not only discover personal connections to the past but also, in some cases, to each other.



Discussing Diversity and Family in the Classroom

By Jane R. Wood

Who are we?” a fifth grade teacher asked her class. The students wondered what that had to do with their social studies lesson about the founding of America. They expected to learn about names, dates, and events about their country’s early beginnings. But their teacher knew that was not the whole story. She wanted them to consider another aspect of who we are as a country.

People from different countries and cultures came to America’s shores to start a new life. Many came to escape oppression, to pursue new opportunities, or to seek a better life for themselves and their families. But those early immigrants were not the only ones who came seeking a better life — it also reflects part of America’s population today and defines who we are as a country.

According to the 2020 US Census, the multiracial population of the United States increased by 276% since the 2010 Census. That increase in people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds is also reflected in our schools — and that presents unique challenges for today’s teachers, as well as opportunities.

Teachers need to be sensitive to the diversity that exists within their classrooms. Positive references to different ethnic populations can be included in class discussions. When teachers embrace America’s diversity by teaching history, science, literature, and math with discussions that highlight the contributions made by people from other cultures, it helps make students more open-minded toward others who are different from themselves.

Examples of such contributions that could be shared with students include:

  • In the 1700s during the colonies’ fight for independence from England, large numbers of soldiers in the Continental Army identified themselves as Irish immigrants or of Irish descent, and more than 6,000 people of color served with the colonial troops.

  • In the early 1800s, Sacagawea, a Shoshone Native American woman, served as a guide and interpreter for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. She helped the explorers barter for food and other necessary items with other Native Americans, so the expedition could provide valuable information about the newly-purchased territory west of the Mississippi River.

  • During World War II, the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of Black aviators who flew more than 1,500 missions, provided escorts to bombers, and saved hundreds of American lives.

  • In 1982, Maya Lin, a famous US architect of Chinese descent, designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC that honors the soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. The National Park Service says the memorial receives more than three million visitors each year.

  • In 2009, Sonia Sotomayor, whose parents were born in Puerto Rico, became the first woman of color, first Hispanic, and first Latina member to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

When students hear about the contributions of individuals and groups from other cultures, it can give them a new perspective on that ethnic group. Not only does it break down stereotypes, but it can help create a sense of pride in students who might otherwise feel excluded. Often students from different backgrounds feel like they are not a part of their class, their community, or their country. Teachers need to send a message that being different is not a bad thing.

How teachers can encourage positive attitudes towards others:

  • Determine the ethnic background for each student in the class so positive references about that culture can be included in class discussions.

  • Include books, music, and art in the classroom that reflect other cultures.

  • Acknowledge and celebrate dates and events that are important to the cultures of students within the class.

  • Create opportunities, like small group activities, for students to interact with students who are different from them.

  • Ask students to talk to their parents, grandparents, and other relatives to learn about their ancestors and family history.

  • Give a writing assignment that describes family members, traditions, or events, and then select a few to be shared with the class.

  • Display a world map in the classroom and ask students to place pins where they have family connections, showing the diversity within the class.

  • Become a good role model by talking about personal relationships and interactions with people from other backgrounds.

When teachers celebrate diversity in their classrooms, students get a better understanding of who we are as a country, and what role they can play in creating a more inclusive community and country.

Jane R. Wood is a former teacher and author of six juvenile fiction books. Her newest book is Finding Family Treasure which deals with themes of diversity, inclusion, American history, and family history. To learn more about the book, go to



Kathryn Knight, who uses the pen name K I Knight, is an international award-winning Author, Genetic Genealogist, American Historian, Keynote Speaker, and Cemetery Preservationist. Over the last thirteen years, Knight has documented more than 20,000 hours researching the first recorded Africans to arrive in the English settlement of Virginia in 1619. Her passion is unrivaled and strongly evident in her published writings.

Her literary work includes Fate & Freedom, a five star – Gold medal historical trilogy detailing the lives of the 1619 Africans, as well as her nonfiction work, Unveiled – The Twenty and Odd, for which she was awarded the Phillis Wheatley Literary Award by the Sons and Daughters of the US Middle Passage.

Knight is a board member for several National Non-profit organizations and the member of numerous Genealogy, Historical and Literary Societies including the Afro American Historical and Genealogical Society, Florida State Genealogy Society, Virginia Genealogy Society, Virginia Historical Society, Florida Historical Society, American Historical Association, Genealogy Speakers Guild, Association of Professional Genealogists, the Alliance of Independent Authors, the National Association of Professional Women, and the Director of 1619 Genealogy. The mother of three adult children, Knight, lives in North Florida with her husband, Tom.

For more information, visit


Jane R. Wood is the author of five award-winning juvenile fiction books where she weaves history and science into stories filled with mystery, adventure, and humor for young readers ages 8-14. Students like her books because they’re fun. Teachers like them for their educational value. Wood is a former teacher, newspaper reporter, and television producer. She has a BA from the University of Florida and an MEd from the University of North Florida. Wood lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and is the mother of two grown sons and five grandchildren.

To learn more about her and her books, go to her website at


Enter for a chance to win a copy of Finding Family Treasure, along with a 1-hour genealogy consultation!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

An autographed copy of Finding Family Treasure

A 1-hour genealogy consultation with Kathryn Knight, a genetic genealogist, and co-author of this book. Knight will provide guidance to establish a genealogy line for the recipient’s family, tailoring it to their needs.

Four (4) winners receive:

An autographed copy of Finding Family Treasure



Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Virtual Book Tour Kick-Off

Wednesday, January 26, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Thursday, January 27, 2022
A guest article by K.I. Knight and Jane Wood
The Importance of Learning About Family History For Kids

Friday, January 28, 2022
A guest article by K.I. Knight and Jane Wood
Discussing Diversity and Family in the Classroom

Monday, January 31, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Wednesday, February 2, 2022
An author interview with K.I. Knight and Jane Wood

Thursday, February 3, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Friday, February 4, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Monday, February 7, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Tuesday, February 8, 2022
A guest article by K.I. Knight and Jane Wood
How Family Stories Connect Us

Wednesday, February 9, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure

Thursday, February 10, 2022
A book review of Finding Family Treasure


Special thanks to Bianca at The Children's Book Review for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the author for the special guest post. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour for more bookish fun!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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