If You Were Me and Lived in…Ancient Mali

posted on January 26, 2017 by Eve Panzer
If You Were Me and Lived in Ancient Mail

“If You Were Me and Lived in ….the Ancient Mali Empire” is the latest chapter in Carol P. Roman’s non-fiction series which introduces children to other cultures. Ms. Roman’s first series of her “If You Were Me and Lived in ….” books deal with modern day countries. (See below for a full list of these books.) Now she has turned to influential civilizations and periods of time throughout the history of the human race. (See below for a full list of these books.)

In this book, Ms. Roman tells the story of the Ancient Empire of Mali through the eyes of a child living in that time period. This point of view helps the reader relate to the story. Through the story of this child’s life in the ancient Mali Empire, we get in information about:

  •         History of the Ancient Mali Empire and it’s leaders
  •         Cities
  •         Government
  •         Leaders – List at the end of the book.
  •         Economy – Traded salt and gold for silk.
  •         Professions and societal structure – Farmers, Artisans, Slaves, Soldiers, Fisherman, Sailors, Civil Servants, and Slaves.
  •         Family Life – Father is the head of the family.
  •         Religions – Muslim and ancient traditions
  •         Culture – food, homes, clothes, customs, language (no written language), beliefs, education (which was free), music, arts, and storytelling.

·         Contributions – Religious tolerance and a place to exchange knowledge.

Ms. Roman has hit upon a formula that works well for teaching about other cultures and time periods. Her books make great fundamental introductions to countries (see full list below).and make more in-depth resources for time periods (see full list below). I highly recommend using these books to introduce students to units on particular countries or time periods. Both of Ms. Roman’s “… nonfiction series, If You Were Me and Lived in… combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us”.

Multiculturalism and diversity are playing a central role in the psyche of many Americans and of many humans around the globe – as demonstrated by the millions who participated in the Women’s Marches on every continent on earth January 21! Acceptance and tolerance need to be modeled to children from the youngest age. There is no better way to do this (in this librarian’s opinion), then by introducing children to other cultures through books. By acquainting children to other cultures in a non-threatening environment, they will learn to appreciate and celebrate the uniqueness and richness of every culture, while also embracing all that the human race has in common.

EDUCATOR’S Tips, Correlations, Connections, Resources

IB Themes/Units of Inquiry:  Where We Are in Space and Time: Ancient Civilizations; Who We Are: My Country and Culture; My Beliefs, My Family, My Home and School; My Beliefs. How We Express Ourselves: Holidays, Celebrations, and Cultural Festivals; How The World Works: Inventions, Buildings and Architecture; How We Organize Ourselves: Work and Jobs.

Social Studies: Geography; Silk Road; Han Dynasty; Religion; Clothing; Food; Education; Recreation; Government; Society;

Arts: Includes information about art, music, poetry, language, calligraphy.

Author: Carole P. Roman
Illustrator: Mateya Arkova
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback
*Price: $15.99
Ages: 7-11

In conjunction with Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (MCBD) (1/27/17) I received a review copy of If You Were Me and Lived in….Ancient China from the author, Carole P. Roman. Her books are published by CreateSpace the Amazon self-publishing platform and can be purchased on Amazon.com*.

*Links to purchase books may result in the Barefoot Librarian receiving a commission (at no additional cost to you). I appreciate your support of my business.

More Titles Like This

“If You Were Me and Lived in ….” Country Series titles: Australia, Brazil, Egypt, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland and South Korea.

“If You Were Me and Lived in ….” Time Period Series titles: American West, Ancient China, Ancient Greece, Ancient Mali Empire, Colonial America, Elizabethan England, Middle Ages, Renaissance Italy and Viking Europe.

*Links to purchase books may result in the Barefoot Librarian receiving a

commission (at no additional cost to you). I appreciate your support of my business.


Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 is in 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 of the ongoing need to include kids’ 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 is on a mission to change all of that.

MCBD Links to Remember:

See the MBCD Current Sponsors and Co-Hosts below.

Current Sponsors: MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey Press, Candlewick Press,  Fathers Incorporated, KidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsors include: Karen Leggett Abouraya, Veronica Appleton, Susan Bernardo, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Delores Connors, Maria Dismondy, D.G. Driver, Geoff Griffin,  Savannah Hendricks, Stephen Hodges, Carmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid Imani, Gwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana Llanos, Natasha Moulton-Levy, Teddy O’Malley, Stacy McAnulty,  Cerece Murphy, Miranda Paul, Annette Pimentel, Greg Ransom, Sandra Richards, Elsa Takaoka, Graciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

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




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Raves & Praise from educators and readers about Eve Panzer, the Barefoot Librarian:

Eve Panzer has displayed her wonderful books at several of our Early Childhood events. Our teachers are always excited to see the age appropriate materials she provides.

-Jacquie Porter, Early Childhood Director, Austin ISD