Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras – Nelson Rodriguez and Leonardo Agustin Montes

Colorful Mondays: A Bookmobile Spreads Hope in Honduras by Nelson Rodriguez, Leonardo Agustín Montes
Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers on September 19, 2023
Genres: Children's
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A beautiful, empowering story about the impact of literacy in underprivileged communities, based on a real bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Luis’s favorite day of the week is Monday, the day the bookmobile comes to his neighborhood. In Villa Nueva, sad stories can gather like dark, stormy clouds. But at the bookmobile, Luis hears stories that burst with life, laughter, and color. Maybe today will bring a song or a puppet show! He might even get to pick a book to read on his own. Every new Monday fills Luis and his neighbors with a joy they can’t help but bring back home.

Co-written by the director of JustWorld International’s bookmobile program in Tegucigalpa, Colorful Mondays is an inspiring celebration of the ways books and learning can bring joy to a community. Illustrated in captivating swirls of color, this uplifting book highlights the strength of disadvantaged children and the creativity of those who help them imagine a better future.

Colorful Mondays is the illustrated real-life story of the work that Asociation Compartir (The Sharing Association) does in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and the surrounding areas. The organization brings mobile libraries, art workshops, and other opportunities to places where those resources are scarce. Promoting reading and art is an important factor not just for education but in preserving cultural values and history.

Colorful Mondays is coauthored by Nelson Rodriguez, who appears in the story and is the real-life director of the mobile library project. This book is his story, drawn from his experiences with the communities of Villa Nueva, Nueva Suyapa, and Los Pinos. The book talks about how the bookmobile works, inviting readers into the cultural life of rural Honduras. The bookmobile is seen as injecting color and vibrancy into a community in need of hope and support.

In a way, the book is an advertisement for the work of Asocation Compartir and their parent organization, JustWorld International, but it never comes across as such. Instead, this is a book about the power of art and story to inspire and impart hope. Like a lot of Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, they are good books for school libraries. They begin conversations about other places and cultures. They introduce young readers to things that might be unfamiliar to them and offer them the beginnings of a conversation and encouragement to explore further.

There’s nothing about Colorful Mondays that is especially well-written or profound. But that might be the magic of it. Just the mundane and simple pleasures of reading (taken for granted or even despised by some) can bring such joy and hope. It’s the story of how small things like bringing books to kids can have such a great impact and it’s that everyday beauty that makes this a worthwhile read.