Guest Review: There’s Only One You by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook, Illustrated by Rosie Butcher

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Guest Reviewer: Jessica G., UCF Elementary Education Student

There’s Only One You
Authors: Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook
Illustrator: Rosie Butcher
Published May 7th, 2019 by Union Square Kids

Summary: This feel-good book reassures kids that, whoever and whatever they are, it’s awesome being YOU! Expertly written to include all kinds of children and families, it embraces the beauty in a range of physical types, personalities, and abilities. Kids will love discovering and recognizing themselves in these pages—and they’ll feel proud to see their special qualities acknowledged. Adorable illustrations by Rosie Butcher show a diverse community that many will find similar to their own. (Goodreads)

About the Creators:

Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook have coauthored several books for children, including Ten Lucky Leprechauns (Scholastic) and Mouse Makes Words: A Phonics Reader (Random House). Kathryn is a school psychologist and Deborah is a kindergarten teacher. They both live in WI. Learn more at helinghembrook.com.

Rosie Butcher lives in East Yorkshire and spends her summers in Sweden. Follow her @scrimmle.

Review: I really enjoyed reading There’s Only One You. It is a wonderful book embracing diversity, inclusion, and individuality. The book is filled with beautiful illustrations demonstrating what makes us unique. The book is written in a rhythmic style, so it is engaging for young readers. Each spread beautifully displays the range of physical characteristics, personalities, or abilities individuals may have. The book is filled with bright vivid colors. Each page is filled with many details. Readers will enjoy exploring each page. The book and the illustrations go beyond inclusion of physical characteristics and incorporate physical attributes and challenges such as being in a wheelchair, using arm crutches, a walker, or using a hearing aid. The book also includes multiple spreads showing differences in families. Illustrations include families that comprise of a mom and a dad, or two moms, or two dads, or a single mom, or a single dad. The authors and illustrator do an excellent job displaying diversity within each page. The book also addresses differences in personalities, such as “crying when you’re sad, or keep tears inside”. The story emphasizes that being unique is what we all have in common. It is what makes us extraordinary.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I believe There’s Only One You is a wonderful book to kick start a new school year. It is a great read aloud choice that reminds students that we are all unique and that is special. The story celebrates all learners. It also encourages empathy among students. It is an excellent aide to teach social emotional learning concepts such as self-esteem, managing thoughts, emotions,

and behaviors, and being against bullying. The book can also be used interdisciplinary in reading, social studies, and art. The text and illustrations are filled with many details that prompt discussion among readers. Students may also respond in a journal entry to some of the subjects addressed in the book or write and draw about their own family. Students may also respond by creating an acrostic poem. In social studies, students can utilize individuality to explore what makes us diverse. For example, exploring

what country each student is from, their culture, traditions, and norms. In art, students can draw a self-portrait of themselves, then share with their classmates.There’s Only One You provides a great opportunity to build a classroom community.

Discussion Questions: 

  • On page 3, the author writes, “It’s awesome being unique!” Based on what we have read so far, what do you think being unique means?
  • On page 4, the author writes, “Do your feelings spill out? Do they lay low and hide? You might cry when you’re sad or keep tears inside.” The author is trying to tell us we differ in how we express our emotions. What are ways you can respond if you do not like something or it is not what you may have wanted?
  • On pages 8 and 9, we see students at the zoo. The author wants us to know how they are different and special. How does the author tell us that the students are different? What can we see from the illustrations?
  • Is there something that makes you unique or different from your classmates?
  • On pages 12 and 13, we can see all the children doing different activities. What kind of activities do we see in the picture? Do you have an activity that you love to do?
  • On pages 14 and 15, we can see some cool tools that may help our friends. Can you recall any of these tools? How do they help?

Flagged Passages: 

 

Read This If You Love: Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López; You Are Enough: A Book about Inclusion by Margaret O’ Hair, illustrated by Sofia Cardoso; Different–A Great Thing to Be! by Heather Avis, illustrated by Sarah Mensinga

Recommended For: 

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Thank you, Jessica, for your review!

2021 Schneider Family Book Awards!

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I am honored to be the co-chair of the 2021 Schneider Family Book Award committee. My committee was amazing!

We had so many wonderful books that we considered, but today is about sharing the winners! First, I would like to celebrate that our 2021 list includes highlighted representation of 8 different disabilities; 4 own voices authors, including the 3 winners!, + 1 own voice contributor; and 4 creators of color! But without further adieu, here are the 2021 Schneider Family Book Award Winners:

The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Schneider Family Book Awards, which honor authors or illustrators for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award was announced today at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time during the American Library Association’s ALA Midwinter Virtual, held Jan. 22– 26. 

Recipients are selected in three categories: younger children (age 0–8), middle grades (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). Winners will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque.  

This is the first year the Schneider Award has awarded two honors for younger children:

“All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything,”  written by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali, foreword by Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins, and published by Sourcebook eXplore, an imprint of Sourcebook Kids, is a Schneider Family Book Award younger children honor title.  

“Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin” written by Tracy Newman, illustrated by Abigail Halpin and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Abrams, is a Schneider Family Book Award younger children honor title.  

“I Talk Like a River,” written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith, and published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, won the award for younger children.

Jordan Scott, poet and debut picture book author, and award-winning illustrator Sydney Smith tell an own voices story of a young boy who feels isolated  and unable to communicate because of his stutter. On a bad speech day, his father takes him to the river to help him understand the beauty of his voice.

“The committee was impressed by this personal and powerful exploration of stuttering. This book combines high-quality writing, well-matched illustrations, and accurate portrayal of a disability,” said Award co-chairs Susan Hess and Kellee Moye.

This is the first year the Schneider Award has awarded two honors for middle grade:

“Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!” written by Sarah Kapit, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

“When Stars are Scattered,” written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson, color by Iman Geddy, and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

“Show Me a Sign” by Ann Clare LeZotte and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc., won the award for middle grades.

Ann Clare LeZotte, a Deaf librarian and author, tells the story of Mary Lambert, a young deaf girl growing up on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in 1805 where 1 in 25 of the population is deaf. Mary feels safe in her community until a scientist arrives to study the source of the deafness.

“The committee saw this book as a labor of love for an author wanting to represent the Deaf community of Martha’s Vineyard and the importance of its history,” said Award co-chairs Susan Hess and Kellee Moye.

The committee did not select a Schneider Family Book Award teen honor title this year.

“This is My Brain in Love” written by I.W. Gregorio and published by Little Brown and Company, a division of Hatchette Books, won the award for teens.

Told in dual narrative, I.W. Gregorio’s second YA novel is an own voices story exploring mental illness stigma, race and culture, and relationships. Jocelyn Wu and Will Domenici, high schoolers who find romance while trying to keep Jocelyn’s family restaurant from failing, fight to save it all, including their relationship.

“The committee believes this well-written novel reveals the complexities of mental illness as a continuum and highlights challenges and hope for teens with anxiety and depression,” said Award co-chairs Susan Hess and Kellee Moye.

Members of the 2021 committee include Susan Hess (Co-Chair), New York City School Librarian, Retired, Osprey, Florida; Kellee Moye (Co-Chair), Teacher-Librarian, Hunter’s Creek Middle School, Winter Park, Florida (Co-Chair); Cathy Andronik, Brien McMahon High School, Retired, Norwalk Public Library, Bridgeport, Connecticut; Rachel G. Payne, Coordinator, Early Childhood Services, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, New York; Sharon Powers, Media Specialist, Lake Nona Middle School, Orlando, Florida; Pamela Jo Renfrow, School Librarian, Memphis, Tennessee; Mary-Kate Sableski, Assistant Professor, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; Scot Smith, Librarian, Robertsville Middle School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Alyson Beecher (Ex-Officio), Educator, Glendale Unified School District, Glendale, California.

For more information on the Schneider Family Book Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.

I am so proud of these choices. Have you read any of these? If not, what do you plan on reading?

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Also, if you missed the American Library Association Youth Media Awards, they were recorded, so it isn’t too late! Check it out at https://ala.unikron.com/!

The 2020 Schneider Family Book Awards

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I was so honored to be on the 2020 Schneider Family Book Award jury!

The Schneider Award is given to books that embody “an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

Today I wanted to share our choices for the 2020 awards because I recommend them all with all of my heart!

Schneider Award for Young Readers Honor

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey, Illustrated by Mika Song

Summary: In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend—or will a friend find him? A story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum.

Schneider Award for Young Readers Winner

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, Illustrated by Rafael López

Summary: Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges—and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we’re not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

Schneider Award for Middle Grades Honor

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya

Summary: Emilia Torres has a wandering mind. It’s hard for her to follow along at school, and sometimes she forgets to do what her mom or abuela asks. But she remembers what matters: a time when her family was whole and home made sense. When Dad returns from deployment, Emilia expects that her life will get back to normal. Instead, it unravels.

Dad shuts himself in the back stall of their family’s auto shop to work on an old car. Emilia peeks in on him daily, mesmerized by the sparks flying from his welder. One day, Dad calls Emilia over to take a closer look. Then, he teaches her how to weld. And over time, flickers of her old dad reappear.

But as Emilia finds a way to repair the relationship with her father at home, her community ruptures with some of her classmates, like her best friend Gus, at the center of the conflict.

Schneider Award for Middle Grades Winner

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Summary: The story of a deaf girl’s connection to a whale whose song can’t be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Schneider Award for Young Adults Honor

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

Summary: Deaf teen Maya moves across the country and must attend a hearing school for the first time. As if that wasn’t hard enough, she also has to adjust to the hearing culture, which she finds frustrating—and also surprising when some classmates, including Beau Watson, take time to learn ASL. As Maya looks past graduation and focuses on her future dreams, nothing, not even an unexpected romance, will derail her pursuits. But when people in her life—deaf and hearing alike—ask her to question parts of her deaf identity, Maya stands proudly, never giving in to the idea that her deafness is a disadvantage.

Schneider Award for Young Adults Winner

Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein

Summary: 14 year old Erica “Ricky” Bloom, is newly diagnosed with a painful chronic illness and pretty pissed off about it. Her body hurts constantly, her family’s a mess and the boy she’s crushing on seems completely clueless. The best coping mechanisms she can come up with are cursing and cutting school. But when her truancy is discovered she must struggle to catch up in school to avoid a far worse horror: repeating ninth grade.

Congratulations to all of the honorees! (P.S. It was amazing calling them all!)

To see the other other books awarded at the American Library Association Youth Media Awards, visit http://ala.unikron.com/about2020.php.

Now onto 2021 where I’m lucky to be co-chair of the jury!

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The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros

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The Remember Balloons
Author: Jessie Oliveros;  Illustrator: Dana Wulfekotte
Published: August 28, 2018 by Simon & Schuster

Goodreads Summary: James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

My Review and Teachers’ Tools for NavigationThis book is beautifully conceived. James’ grandpa has colored balloons that represent his favorite memories. Some of these memories begin to slip away, and James cannot catch them as they fly into the sky. Soon, his grandpa starts forgetting who James is, too. I read this in my son’s new school’s library and had to work very hard not to hold back tears. It is a stunning story, and I think it will resonate with both adults and children. This book allows for rich discussions of senility and Alzheimer’s Disease.

As I read this with my son, I was compelled to have him draw his own balloons to represent his favorite memories. While he drew his balloons, I drew a balloon of a shared memory at the same time. Teachers might have students cut balloons out of colored paper and ask students to create a giant bulletin board filled with their memories together.

This is a great text to teach the concept of the extended metaphor.

Discussion Questions: How does James feel when his grandpa starts to lose his balloons?; What memories would make up your own balloons?; What is a metaphor? How are the balloons a metaphor?

Flagged Spreads: 

Read This If You Loved: What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine; Forget Me Not by Nancy Van Laan; The Memory Box by Mary Bahr, Still My Grandma by Veronique Van Den Abeele, Really and Truly by Emilie Rivard, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, written by Mem Fox, What’s Happening to Grandpa? by Maria Shriver

Recommended For: 

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Tsu and the Outliers by E. Eero Johnson

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Tsu and the Outliers
Author: E. Eero Johnson
Published May 8th, 2018 by odod books

Summary: Tsu and the Outliers is a graphic novel about a non- verbal boy whose rural existence appears unbearable until rumors of a monstrous giant upend his mundane life. Tsu finds himself at the center of the mystery, as his strange metaphysical connection with the creature is revealed.

As the dragnet closes in, Tsu is forced to choose between a dangerous path leading beyond the periphery of human perception or a life without his only friend.

About the Author: E. Eero Johnson (Erik T. Johnson) is a Minneapolis-based illustrator, graphic designer, and comic book artist. His illustrations have appeared in GQThe New YorkerNewsweekWired, and The New York Times, and on several book covers. His comic book projects, The Outliers and Kozmo-Knot, have gained a growing interest from the indie comic world. He lives with his wife, Tammy, sons, Emmett and Eilif, and a crazy Boston terrier.

ReviewTsu and the Outliers is an interesting look at a new type of superhero: a young non-verbal boy who is able to communicate with a creature that his world is afraid of. There are some interesting discussion points when it comes to bullying since Tsu is judged by his classmates because of his disability. This is a big theme during the beginning of the book as we get to know Tsu. The creature also ends up being a Sasquatch and they are being chased by a chupacabra-like creature which introduces North American folklore. Overall, the story is pretty crazy (in a good way), and the end of the book sets up for a definite sequel which I NEED because Tsu makes a crazy decision at the end of the book with no explanation.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Use the scene where Tsu is bullied by Jespers to start a dialogue about bullying. Discuss why the scene makes them angry and uncomfortable and what could have been done by others to help Tsu. Have students create anti-bullying advertisements to share in your school.

When mythology and folklore are discussed, the focus is primarily on Greek, Roman, and Egyptian. Use Tsu and the Outliers to discuss North American folklore including the Sasquatch and chupacabra. Have them research the tales about these creatures and create their own myth with them in it. Also, as a class, discuss the difference between the characters is Tsu and traditional folklore.

Discussion Questions: 

  • What foreshadowing was there to show that Tsu was more than what everyone assumed?
  • Tsu’s lack of verbal communication in the end of the book ended up not being a disability. What do you think caused it?
  • Why do you think Tsu made the choice he did at the end of the book?
  • Why do you think Tsu’s mother made the claim she did at the end of the book covering up for Tsu?
  • Why does the Chimpanzee-professor want Tsu?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Superpowers, Folklore, Superhero comics

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to odod books for providing a copy for review!**

Teaching Tuesday: Disability and the Body Recommendations for YA Lit Circles/Book Clubs

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Recommended Books for Lit Circles/Book Clubs with a Focus on Disability and the Body

Each semester, I focus a section of my college course on disability and the body. I choose this topic for literature circles quite intentionally. My class is divided into thirds for most of the class texts, but for the literature circles portion of the class, we use eight texts. For me, there is so much to talk about regarding disability and the body. Limiting myself to eight texts is difficult. In fact, I am dropping one (to be determined this month) to make room for a new text that I love, Little & Lion, so you will see nine texts listed below. When I choose books, I strive for representation of different types of disabilities. Further, I try to offer texts that help students consider aspects like body image. I hope the texts below are helpful to those who are considering a focus on this topic in their classrooms.

Also, after we read the texts, we talk about the different theoretical frameworks of disability, and we watch and discuss this video:

 

Here are the books I ask students to choose from:

Laurie Halse Anderson’s (2009) Wintergirls

We do our literature circles next week, but last week, a student who chose this book came up to me after class to say, “Wow. I have never read a book like that.” I’ve used this at the high school level, too, and it is always sparked insightful, difficult conversations.

Brandy Colbert’s (2017) Little & Lion

I am looking forward to adding this book next semester. I think it is going to offer a lot for students to talk about.

Sharon Draper’s (2010) Out of My Mind

This is a phenomenal book that is always well-received. I’ve taught this book multiple times, and every group has loved it.

Wendelin Van Draanen’s (2011) The Running Dream

A few years ago, I was sitting next to a man who was reading this on a plane. He turned to me and said, “Have you read this book? It’s really good.” I told him, “Yes, I teach it!” 🙂

R. J. Palacio’s (2012) Wonder

I can’t get enough of Wonder. I’ll buy every picture book, companion book, etc. that they produce relative to this text. It makes me want to be a better person.

Francisco X. Stork’s (2008) Marcelo in the Real World

Magic bottle up in a book. That’s what comes to mind when I think of this stunning text.

Eric Lindstrom’s (2015) Not If I See You First

I learned so much from this book. I always love the presentations that my students come up with for this text.

Holly Goldberg Solan’s (2013) Counting by 7s

Do you remember when this book came out? The blog world exploded. Everyone was raving about it. It turns out that five years later, the same happens in my classroom.

John Corey Whaley’s (2016) Highly Illogical Behavior

I listened to this book on audio at the end of last semester, and I immediately called my bookstore to ask them if I could switch out a book they’d ordered for me. I needed this on the list!

 

I’ve made an intentional decision not to label the books above by disability. While I find it important to highlight disability as a topic, I also find it important not to define a book by the disability featured within the pages. Further, not all authors choose to explicitly label the disability—at times, the actual disability is nebulous to readers. During class, we talk about the dangers of “diagnosing” characters when a disability isn’t named, and we also talk about the danger of a single story. One character’s experiences with a disability is not the same as another’s experiences. Further, we talk about authority and authenticity. Who has the right to write stories? For more on this, check out this Summer’s The ALAN Review psychology-themed issue, where some incredible YA authors discuss these issues in depth.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I look at the world through a learner lens, so if I am getting this wrong, or my thoughts are off, please push back.

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Author: Dusti Bowling
Published September 5th, 2017 by Sterling Children’s Books

Summary: Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.

Praise: 

*“Aven is a perky, hilarious, and inspiring protagonist whose attitude and humor will linger even after the last page has turned.” —School Library Journal (Starred review)

“Connor’s Tourette’s support-group meetings and Aven’s witty, increasingly honest discussions of the pros and cons of “lack of armage” give the book excellent educational potential. . . . its portrayal of characters with rarely depicted disabilities is informative, funny, and supportive.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Bowling’s sensitive and funny novel . . . demonstrates how negotiating others’ discomfort can be one of the most challenging aspects of having a physical difference and how friendship can mitigate that discomfort. . . . [an] openhearted, empathic book. —Publishers Weekly

Review: From the very first page, you know that Aven is awesome. In the first paragraph you learn that she doesn’t have arms but it doesn’t matter to her. The only reason why she is upset is because someone else freaked out about her armlessness. She is brave and funny and resilient. The way that she is able to joke around about her physical difference to help ease the reader and the other characters is a true talent. The stories she creates about what happened to her arms just to freak people out truly cracked me up. And Aven’s awesomeness is followed closely by her parents’. I adore them. They are the pinnacle of parents. They are kind yet tough and are raising an independent, wonderful young woman. Then there is Connor who is also so well-crafted. His Tourette’s syndrome is dealt with in a thoughtful way and also doesn’t define Connor just like Aven’s armlessness doesn’t define her. This is a book of amazing characters coming together to find their place in the world.

You are going to love this book. Your students are going to love this book. Parents are going to love this book. Your fellow teachers are going to love this book. This is a book that is going to get a lot of love!

Check out Dusti’s “Spotlight on Dusti Bowling” feature in Publishers Weekly to hear more about her inspirations.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Please add this title to your collection of read aloud and classroom library books that you share with students to promote empathy, kindness, and friendship with those with differences as well as facing hardship and stepping up to challenges. You will not be disappointed!

Discussion Questions: After reading Aven and Connor’s story, how has your attitude and future actions towards those with differences changed?; How was Aven’s story inspiring to you?; Why did you feel that author made the choice to have Aven’s family move at the beginning of the book?; Did you predict the connection to Stagecoach Pass?; How were Connor and Aven able to help each other?

Flagged Passages: “When I was little, a kid pointed at me on the playground and shouted, ‘Her arms fell off!’ then ran away screaming in terror to his mom, who had to cuddle him on her lap and rub his head for like ten mintues to get him to calm down. I think, up until then, I hadn’t thought about the idea that my arms must have actually fallen off at some point in my life. I had never really thought about not having arms at all.

My missing arms weren’t an issue for me or my parents. I never once heard either of them say, ‘Oh, no, Aven can’t possibly do that because that’s only for armed people,’ or ‘Poor Aven is so helpless without arms,’ or ‘Maybe Aven can do that one day, you know, if she ever grows arms.’ They always said things like, ‘You’ll have to do this differently from other people, but you can manage,’ and ‘I know this is challenging for you. Keep trying,’ and ‘You’re capable of anything Aven.’

I had never realized just how different I was until that day that horrible kid shouted about my arms having fallen off. For the first time I found myself aware of my total armlessness, and I guess I felt like I was sort of naked all of a sudden. So I, too, ran to my mom, and she scooped me up and carried me away from the park, allowing my tears and snot to soak her shirt.” (Chapter 1)

Read This If You Love: Wonder by RJ Palacio, Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry, Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper, The Honest Truth by Dan GemeinhartFish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, How to Speak Dolphin by Ginny RorbyRain Reign by Ann M. MartinEmmanuel’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Dusti Bowling and Sterling for providing a copy for review!**