Ink-a-Dink Bookstore, General Motors, Candlewick Press, and American Booksellers Association Partner to Benefit “STEM Reads” Book Giveaway and Hindi’s Libraries. Through this program, thousands of copies of Christina Soontornvat’s The Last Mapmaker have been given to readers in underserved communities.
The American Booksellers Association, Candlewick Press, and General Motors announced the “STEM Reads” (#STEMReads) book giveaway on March 31, 2022. Partnering for this initiative, Ink-a-Dink Children’s Bookstore was able to provide 20 free copies for Hindi’s Libraries, a nonprofit organization bringing books to children throughout the world. Plus three additional copies for giveaway to Ink-a-Dink readers, detailed below.
In this Thai-inspired fantastical world, twelve-year-old Sai lives in the Kingdom of Mangkon, where your place in life is determined by your ancestry. The status of one’s ancestors dictates social position, with the first gold ring of lineage awarded on one’s 13th birthday.
The symbol of The Kingdom of Mangkon is a coiled dragon in a perfect circle, clamping its tail in its own mouth, with their motto, “The Tail is the Teeth,”meaning “the end was connected to the beginning … where you ended up depended on where you started … and each person is one link in a lineal that loops around in a never-ending circle.”
To Sai these words meant no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t escape who you were or where you came from. and Sai has managed to hide her con-man father and her home in the Fens. Sai has worked hard to keep her identity hidden.
What has saved her from being discovered so far is her unexpected apprenticeship with the greatest mapmaker of their time, Master Paiyoon. But knowing he and others would eventually discover her lineage, Sai has been saving her money in secret to leave Mangkon forever, “even if it meant she had to bite off her own tail to do it.”
An opportunity to escape unexpectedly arises when the Queen orders naval expeditions to travel and map the boundaries of the kingdom, as assistant to Master Paiyoon, who has secrets of his own.
Once aboard, she finds espionage, danger, and she learns they are traveling to the mythical world of the Sunderlands, legendary home to the great dragons of old. During a journey of unexpected dicoveries and exploration of unknown lands, what happens forever changes Sai’s life, her views, and her expectations.
Through this fantasy adventure, readers find a safe space to explore and apply themes of identity, integrity and injustice in our own lives today.
A sea-faring tale with a wholly satisfying ending that will appeal to boys and girls ages 8-12, with excellent classroom potential. Additional reaching resources can be found at Candlewick Press, #TheLastMapmaker and #STEMReads.
Ink-a-Dink has three additional special edition copies for give-away, with one Grand Prize Winner to receive The Last Mapmaker, Maps Big Picture Book, and a world map compliments of Doctors Without Borders. To be automatically entered to win one of three, free, special-edition copies, subscribe to the Ink-a-Dink Blog now until Dec. 31, 2022. Winners will be announced on New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2023. Ink-a-Dink is honored to partner with Candlewick Press to share copies and free resources.
The Last Mapmaker, by Christina Soontornvat, Apr. 12, 2022, Candlewick Press, Ages 8-12, 9781536204957
Christina Soontornvat is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for children of all ages, including Newbery Honor books A Wish in the Dark and All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team. In addition to being an author, she is passionate about STEM and STEAM and holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in science education. Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. Visit Candlewick online at www.candlewick.com.
Ink-a-Dink: Ink-a-Dink bookstore’s mission is to get excellent books into hands of children of all ages and their adults, offering free resources, discounted products, and bulk ordering for schools, libraries, museums and nonprofits, especially those facing funding cuts. Recipient of the James Patterson Holiday Bookstore Bonus, Ink-a-Dink proudly partners with publishers to provide resources for parents, educators, and readers of all ages. An affiliate of Childress Ink.
Kim Childress: Thirty years in publishing, Kim Childress is an award-winning editor, author, speaker, and reviewer, including book editor for Girls' Life magazine since its 1994 debut, and previous middle grade acquisitions editor for HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Zondervan). Author of Find Your Future in Art, Kim is the author of 100s of books, short stories, and articles for all ages; as regular contributor to Writer's Digest, The Institute of Children's Literature's monthly bulletin, and their annual guides. Kim built her career while raising of personal focus group of four children, sharing insights and adventures as former contributor to the Focus on the Child parenting newsletters, writing for parents of children ages newborn-teen (division of Focus on the Family). Currently a product developer in publishing with a specialty in children's publishing, Kim continues to provide editorial and PR services, write, read, review and share books of excellence.