Amy Hodgepodge is a chapter book series about a young multiracial girl who is Japanese, African-American, Korean and White. The series, written by Kim Wayans (of the Wayans Family) and her husband Kevin Knotts, not only deals with issues of feeling different (i.e. Amy’s multicultural background), but also deals with the usual angst of growing up and dealing with other children.
I don’t know about you, but I was at first put off by the title “Amy Hodgepodge – All Mixed Up!” Hodgepodge makes me think of a jumbled mix of scraps, a mess, confusion, disorganization, without thought and so on. If the series is supposed to uplift multiracial children, surely it did not get off on the right foot with the title.
However, after getting beyond my initial impressions, I see that in fact, Amy’s real name is Amy Hodge and Hodgepodge is the name “affectionately” given by another student. I’m still not completely sold on the name being complimentary, but there are way too many positives to the series to get caught up in a debate over the title.
Unfortunately, it is still rare to find intelligent books that feature multicultural children and families. Thus, this series is an enthusiastically-welcomed blessing for all parents/teachers who want to expose children to diverse images.
The series received rave reviews on Amazon.com. Amazon reviewers found Amy’s character engaging, lively and charming. The story lines are creative and realistic. Promoting tolerance and individuality are themes that can be found within many of the storylines.
The series may be best received by children between 2nd and 5th grade and can be purchased at the usual book retailers. You can also visit the Amy Hodgepodge official website here: http://www.amyhodgepodge.com/ for Amy Hodgepodge games and merchandise.