Home Education

Multicultural Children’s Book Day Review: Ellis and the Hidden Cave

**This post contains affiliate links**

Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day (MCBD) and I hope you’re ready to celebrate with some great book selections to diversify your home library.

I’m joining hundreds of moms, educators and bloggers to celebrate cultural diversity in children’s books and also the need to make these books available in our home, school and public libraries.

We read to know that we are not alone.

~ C. S. Lewis

I love this quote from C. S. Lewis because, while we read for many reasons, books and stories remind us that we are not alone in facing this world. There are other people out there who look like us, but even when we speak a different language or come from different continents, we still can share in our life experiences and interests. There is so much that can bring us together.

As part of this year’s MCBD I received a free copy of the children’s book Ellis and the Hidden Cave to review here on BeautifulMessyMotherhood.

Book: Ellis and the Hidden Cave

Author: Cerece & Aryeh Rennie Murphy

Summary: In this second installment of the StoneKeeper Series, Ellis, little sister Freddye and best friend Toro embark from their home in the USA to a thrilling adventure in India. As their parents conduct research on an archaeological site, they have their own encounters with an ancient civilization and an underwater world.

What we liked:  While I read this book I kept thinking, the Goonies meet Indiana Jones! It was full of adventure. My 9 year old also read this book, and while it was an easy read for him, he enjoyed the thrill and the mystery (and the sword fighting!). He also made sure to mention that there is another book in the series, which I took as a not-so-subtle hint that he’d like me to get it for him.

I would consider this a good option for an early reader who’s starting to conquer chapter books, or just a fun easy read for a more advanced reader.

In terms of diversity, the book features an African-American family in normal every day life. Well, except for the fact that Ellis is a StoneKeeper, and his stone gives him superpowers to fight some evil goblins. Other than that, they’re a totally normal family! Also, the author goes into a bit of detail of the Indian culture when Ellis and his family first arrive in the country, which is a great opportunity to dig deeper into their culture, history, traditions, food and religion (and, Bollywood?). Smells like a homeschool project to me!


How you can #ReadYourWorld too:

Life is busy, and walking into the library or bookstore (or Amazon) to look for books can be overwhelming when you don’t even know what you’re looking for. That’s why I’m glad the team at MCBD created a great resource for parents and teachers. If you head over to Amazon, their book, Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators, will be free until January 30th. So make sure you get it now! I got mine this morning.





What is Multicultural Children’s Book Day

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness on the ongoing need to include kid’s books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team are on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also work tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

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  • Reply Vicki @ Babies to Bookworms

    The Goonies meets Indiana Jones? I’m sold! This sounds like a great series to check out!!

    January 27, 2017 at 5:07 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      I literally thought that as I was reading. It was a fun quick read.

      January 27, 2017 at 10:11 pm
  • Reply The Domestic Realist

    This would have been extremely helpful when I was a teacher! Love these choices!

    January 27, 2017 at 8:40 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      Share it with any still-teacher friends 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      January 27, 2017 at 10:12 pm
  • Reply Kate A

    This sounds like something my 6 year old is going to love! Thanks for the informative review!

    January 27, 2017 at 8:49 pm
  • Reply Kim S

    I’m so glad I read this post! I love that there are these books out there and a day to celebrate them!

    January 27, 2017 at 9:19 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      I hope you find the resources useful. We love classics children’s books, but it can be hard to find diversity.

      January 27, 2017 at 10:14 pm
  • Reply Stephanie Lowry

    It is so important to teach our kids young and tbese books are such a great way of touching on and opening up discussions on very important world topics.

    January 27, 2017 at 9:31 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      Yes, so true. Widening their world is very important.

      January 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm
  • Reply Cass SugarSalt

    Yes we are not alone and we all learn from each other. Great share. -Cass from

    January 27, 2017 at 9:44 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      Thanks for stopping by!

      January 27, 2017 at 10:16 pm
  • Reply jennyfromgeorgia

    What a beautiful family you have! And what an important topic. Thank you for sharing these resources–I’ve been looking for something like this for a while!

    January 28, 2017 at 9:38 am
    • Reply Nermarí

      I hope you find them useful!

      January 28, 2017 at 10:02 am
  • Reply loveyoumoretoo

    Thank you! I love looking for multi-cultural books to read to my students at school. This one sounds wonderful.

    January 28, 2017 at 10:14 am
    • Reply Nermarí

      Great! Don’t forget to check out the free resources/links for teachers at the bottom of the post. 🙂

      January 28, 2017 at 10:57 am
  • Reply Melissa Taylor

    this is new to me, thank you so much for sharing!

    January 29, 2017 at 1:39 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      Hope you find it helpful!

      January 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm
  • Reply lrramnath

    That book sounds like a great one! While my son can’t read yet he loves me to read him chapter books at bedtime. This series looks like a great one. I love that it encoumpasses different cultures. We are an interracial family and I’m always looking fornbooks that teach differences in a positive way. Thank you for sharing!

    January 29, 2017 at 5:21 pm
    • Reply Nermarí

      Same here! We’re biracial family and it’s not easy to find books that portray diverse families. Make sure you get the MCBD ebook while it’s free!

      January 29, 2017 at 6:49 pm
  • Reply AndiAndi

    I love the idea of making sure to have multicultural books in the home! It’s so incredibly important to teach our children about all different cultures.

    January 29, 2017 at 8:59 pm
  • Reply Kathy

    This sounds like a terrific book! There need to be way more books out there with characters that represent diverse groups of people, from race to religion, even if the story itself is otherwise ordinary.

    January 30, 2017 at 7:34 am
    • Reply Nermarí

      Sometimes ordinary stories are just what is needed. 🙂

      January 30, 2017 at 10:25 am
  • Reply Bonnie Dani

    I love that “Goonies meets Indiana Jones”. Sounds like a fun and adventurous book. Definitely have to put this series on our library list.

    February 2, 2017 at 6:43 pm
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