|BASIC INFO||LANGUAGE LEVEL||COMPREHENSION-AIDING FEATURES|
|Book Title Brandon Brown entdeckt Bayern (Brandon Brown Discovers Bavaria)|
Author(s) Carol Gaab, Kristy Placido
Illustrator(s) Robert Matsudaira
Other Contributors Adapted to German by Julie Young
Published by Fluency Matters
Genre Realistic Fiction
Publication date 2020
|From the author/publisher’s website|
Level 1 and up
Total Word Count
|Illustrations YES |
Guiding Questions NO
|IDENTITIES PRESENT IN THE TEXT||SYNOPSIS|
|Races, Ethnicities, and Nationalities|
Sex and Genders
Male (Main characters)
Mid-life Adult: 35-65
Middle to Upper Class
|From the author/publisher’s website |
It takes Brandon Brown less than a day to find trouble while on vacation with his family in Bavaria. He quickly learns that in Bavaria, bad decisions and careless mischief can bring much more than a 12-year-old boy can handle alone. Will he and his new friend, Justin, outwit their parents, or will their mischievous antics eventually catch up with them?
|To what extent do the illustrations present positive and thoughtful representations of identities?|
The black and white illustrations show Brandon in a lot of different situations: with his family in front of a tourist attraction, with his new friend, Justin, and getting in trouble with the “böse Mann” (mean man). The illustrations depict all the characters as white.
|We understand identities are complex and no single story represents the spectrum of identity-based experiences. Also, a text may address a stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization without relying on it.|
Does any stereotype, misrepresentation, or generalization affect any positive and thoughtful representations of identities in the text?
|This section is for teachers who are working towards sourcing more texts within the four domains of anti-bias education. We are excited about reading all books and we understand that not all books are written for this specific purpose. |
Does this text work toward goals within any of the four domains of anti-bias education as defined by Teaching Tolerance?
|Brandon is on vacation in Bavaria with his family when he gets separated from them and makes a new friend with whom he is going to get into a lot of trouble as they move from one tourist site to another. The kind of trouble Brandon and his friend get in ranges from making faces at people (20) to trespassing (46). The story is available in two versions: one in the present and one in the past tense.|
There is an illustration on practically every other page, which not only allows the reader to visualize the characters and the scene described in the story, but also supports comprehension of the plot. The plot allows for a lighthearted tour through many prominent Bavarian cultural sites, including Schloss Neuschwanstein (10), the Passion presented in Oberammergau (19), Schloss Linderhof (32) and the Venus Grotto (35), the Olympic Stadium (40), etc.
Because there is little development in the story of the relationship between Brandon and Justin, the relationship seems to primarily serve the function of pushing Brandon towards disrespectful or potentially dangerous behavior. His relationship to his new friend Justin appears to follow a pattern of Justin suggesting some rule-breaking adventure, and Brandon going along with it, though he might be nervous or have reservations (37). Also, it is unclear if Brandon eventually takes personal responsibility for his actions throughout the course of the novel. The police describe to Brandon’s parents how he disrespected the rules and climbed on the alpine ski jumps (58), but there is no discussion within the family about Brandon’s behavior in public, about how he disobeyed rules related to safety, or about recognizing the importance of cultural sites.