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Monster Needs to Go to School
Author: Paul Czajak
Illustrator: Wendy Grieb
Anticipated Publication June 28, 2016 by Mighty Media Kids
(Please note the new publication date!)

Goodreads Summary: Monster is dreading his first day of school. But his classroom is full of new friends and so many fun things to learn that Monster forgets his fears in no time…until he catches his friends bullying. What will Monster do?

Another exuberant addition to the award-winning Monster & Me series, addressing back-to-school jitters and the difficulty of dealing with bullies—especially when they’re friends.

Ricki’s Review: The Monster books rank up there as one of my favorite series. I absolutely love reading these books because the monster always make me laugh. My son giggles as we look at the big monster squeezing into a tiny classroom seat. My son is starting preschool in the fall, so it was great to use this book as a teaching tool to discuss his first day of school with him. He became more excited about going to school after reading this book. I also enjoy the lessons that these books teach. Monster sees bullying and isn’t a silent bystander. He speaks out for what he believes is wrong. As a mom, I plan to talk about bullying often. I want my son to stand up for his peers when he sees bullying, and it is great to have this book as a resource to start these conversations.

Kellee’s Review: I love the Monster motto: “Teach kids what matters! After all, they are our future.” This is something I truly believe as well, and I think the Monster books do a great job teaching our children about being a good citizen and human. My first Monster book was Monster Needs Your Vote, and I was really impressed with how Czajak dealt with teaching about politics. Monster Needs to go to School is a bit different because it doesn’t as much teach about a topic but focuses on the importance of education and for kindness. This book will be great to read right before school starts, at the beginning of school, if someone is struggling with school, or when bullying is a problem. I think it would equally work for any of these situations because Monster’s story is fun and one that the reader will connect with. 

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This would be an excellent book to start off the school year. I’d read this book on the very first day. It would calm students’ nerves to see a giant monster who is afraid of school. Further, it would jumpstart conversations about bullying to tackle the issue before it might begin.

Discussion Questions: What is monster afraid of? What kinds of things make us afraid? Why is this okay?; What does monster do when he sees bullying? Why is it important to stand up for what is right? What is a bystander? Would you be strong and speak up against bullying?

We Flagged: “When Monster hopped onto the bus, his nerves were at their peak. He crumpled in the nearest seat, afraid to even speak.”

Read This If You Loved: Each Kindness (Kellee’s Review; Ricki’s Review) by Jacqueline Woodson, Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea, the rest of the books in the Monster & Me series

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Carolyn at Mighty Media Press for providing copies for review!**

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