Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling


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.


*“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: 



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

Guest Post: “From Advocate to Author: New Children’s Chapter Book Series Features American Special Hockey Association” by Chris Beehler, ASHA Ambassadors Executive Director


“From Advocate to Author: New Children’s Chapter Book Series Features American Special Hockey Association” By Chris Beehler, ASHA Ambassadors Executive Director

I write today with exciting news that will steal your heart! This is such a rare opportunity. The American Special Hockey Association (ASHA) is the largest special hockey organization in the world with over 58 member programs in more than 50 US cities. And, now ASHA is featured in the Official Adventures children’s chapter book series that is America by ice storm!

ASHA strives to give people with physical and developmental disabilities the chance to play ice hockey in an environment which is adapted to the level of ability which the athletes are able to participate. But, ASHA is very different from other special hockey programs.

On November 16, ASHA will host a Congressional Hill Briefing on therapeutic style of hockey and in conjunction, Jayne Jones Beehler, the author of Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey, the third book (released in October 2016) in the Official Adventures series, will join Mike Hickey, ASHA’s National President, at this briefing. Jones, a former Hill staff, now national legal director of ASHA has taken her love and advocacy for children with special needs from pen to paper.

And, you don’t want to miss how this children’s book and series is America’s hottest series for young readers while teaching inclusion, respect and love for the game.

Players with Down syndrome and autism have incredible behavioral outcomes because of this unique form of special hockey. In collaboration with ASHA, this third chapter book is being released to showcase ASHA’s incredible programming and how ASHA is changing lives. This book teaches young readers about inclusion and respect for all players, regardless of talent or ability.

The highlights of this book include:

  • The Official Adventures book series is authored by Jayne Jones Beehler and illustrated by Katrina Dohm. This third chapter book, in the series, is set in Hockeytown USA and continues everyone’s love for the game.
  • Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey has all hearts leading to the rink.
  • The Hockeytown USA Pee Wees celebrate their State Pee Wee championship with an old fashioned hockey celebration banquet including a parade and special visit by Jeremy Roenick. Mr. Roenick pokes fun at the Chicago/Minnesota rivalry and announces a new American Special Hockey Team (the Minnesota Bears) will play in Hockeytown USA!
  • Blaine and Ann, two characters with Down syndrome, lace up their skates for the first time and play hockey! Ann is the character namesake of Ann Schaab, a Washington Ice Dogs hockey player. The tale shares America’s favorite real life story of Ann’s friendship with NHL superstar Alex Ovechkin and their famous sushi date.
  • Luke and Cullen (named after Matt Cullen) head to Minnesota Hockey Camps located in Nisswa, Minnesota where they learn that you can play hockey in the rink and up north in the lake. The tale features showcases Minnesota Hockey Camp’s grand traditions and hockey artifacts.
  • Avery (named after Avery Hakstol) and Paisley (named after Paisley Leopold) fly to Finland playing for Team USA in their U10 international tournament along with their Coach Lamoureux (named after Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux), do they bring home the gold against Team Canada? Young readers will learn Finnish and love the competitive spirit of Avery and Paisley. Coach Lamoureux encourages the girls to make a bucket list including playing for the University of North Dakota, the University of Minnesota and making Team USA for the Olympics.
  • The American Special Hockey Association hosts their annual fundraiser at the conclusion of the tale where current and former Minnesota Wild players have their family members play in a friendly fun game against the Minnesota Bears. The event includes a silent auction with Minnesota ties.

This chapter book and book series has it all: special hockey, girls hockey, precise real-life illustrations, a glossary with new terms, love for the game while teaching life lessons, family and sportsmanship. The book series features two referees, Rylee and Rosee, who instill sportsmanship, humor and victorious, on and off the ice.

The book has been endorsed by NHL players and coaches: Alex Ovechkin (Washington); Corey Perry (Anaheim), Rick Nash (New York Rangers), Brett Burns (San Jose), Matt Cullen (Pittsburgh), Joe Pavelski (San Jose), Jordan Leopold (Minnesota), Claude Giroux (Philadelphia), Coach Dave Hakstol (Philadelphia), Coach Phil Housley (Nashville), Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux (Team USA) and others.

Teaching respect for all individuals is critically important raising children today. This book series offers a fun way of instilling grand traditions of sportsmanship with ethics, values and good hearted fun. I invite teachers to contact me for special pricing of the book series and for the author to conduct in-person or tele-interviews/discussions with classrooms, from 2nd to 6th grade.

We are wild about reading and you should be too!



“The Official Adventures” is a new children’s chapter book series that teaches the importance of sportsmanship, persistence, discipline, and respect – for referees, each other, and individuals with special needs.

The series tells the tale of two hockey loving brothers, Blaine and Cullen. On and off the ice, they have deep love for the game and also each other! Cullen is the all-star team captain and Blaine, who has Down syndrome, is the team manager and clearly the “unsung hero” of the team. The brothers join Rylee and Rosee, America’s favorite referees, in game day adventures filled with laughter, love and lessons.

“This is a rarity in children’s literature. We’ve seen characters with special needs on stage, film and other artistic expressions. But in books such a character is almost non-existent. It really is ‘ice breaking,’” states Katrina Dohm, Illustrator and Co-Creator, The Official Adventures Series.

The storyline doesn’t hide Blaine’s challenges; instead the text proudly displays Blaine’s heart-warming perseverance, his discipline and love for the game, his family and life. Blaine’s leadership and unselfish actions speak louder than any textual words. Through detailed illustration young readers are able to learn respect and a better understanding for the challenges individuals with special needs face on a daily basis.

The first two books in the series “Drop the Puck, It’s Hockey Season” and “Drop the Puck, Shoot for the Cup” are out now, with the third book “Drop the Puck, Let’s Play Hockey” set to be released this Fall 2016.


The book series has received the endorsement and support of NHL greats:

This is a very worthwhile read that contains life lessons beyond the rink. It’s a great pickup and I especially appreciate that it includes Blaine, a special needs character.” –Mike Hickey, President, American Special Hockey Association.

“Drop the Puck, Shoot for the Cup is a great book with a very important message for kids everywhere – Everyone deserves the chance to play hockey, no matter what their capability.” –Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

“The Official Adventures Series books are terrific heart-warming stories that celebrate hockey, family and children with special needs! Our family loves these hockey tales that teach life lessons and encourages everyone to treat others with respect.” –Bridget and Matt Cullen (Pittsburgh Penguins Center)

“This book teaches real life lessons through sport, through victory and losses, and emphasizes the importance of hard work regardless of the score.” –Jocelyne Lamoureux, Team USA, Silver Olympic Medalist

“Playing hockey is awesome and reading about it can be just as fun. It’s important to learn fundamentals on and off the ice!” –Claude Giroux, Captain, Philadelphia Flyers


About the Authors

With a shared love and energy-driven passion for outstanding academics, stellar athletics and innovative arts, Jayne Jones Beehler, a college professor, and Katrina Dohm, a high school educator, have teamed up and joined forces as co-authors and co-creators of “The Official Adventures.” Jones Beehler, a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, is passionate about children, education, foster care and adoption, and child abuse/prevention public policy. Jones Beehler worked for US Senator Norm Coleman from 2002-2006, then headed to the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she was the Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House, Steve Sviggum. Jones Beehler teaches political science classes at Concordia University-St. Paul where her students have gained national attention and praise for their legislative activities and involvement.

Dohm was exposed to hockey growing up in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but her true love of the game began when she went to college in January of 1987 at the University of North Dakota. She arrived just in time to cheer on her future alma mater as they skated their way to an NCAA Championship. Dohm graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Education.  For the past twenty-two years, Dohm has dedicated herself to being an art teacher and all the “extras” that go with it.  Her classroom is filled to the brim with personal touches (especially her favorite color, PURPLE) student projects galore, yearbook publications, shelves filled with art and design books, school spirit signs, and memorabilia.

Jones Beehler and Dohm, have earned “Hall of Fame” status for their real-life story-telling, colorful fresh illustrating and combined natural zest for helping young learners enjoy reading, appreciate the arts, while ensuring their writing and books instill life lessons and reader’s adventures of their own, while inspiring and reaching educational goals.

To learn more, go to

Thank you Kelsey from Book Publicity Services for sharing this guest post with us!

Kellee Signature andRickiSig

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten


the unlikely hero of room 13b

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Author: Teresa Toten
Published: March 10, 2015 by Delacorte

GoodReads Summary: Deep, understated, and wise, this engaging YA novel, winner of the Governor General’s Award in Canada, is about more than the tough issue of teens dealing with obsessive-compulsive order. It also has romance, and a whodunit element that will keep readers guessing. Perfect for readers who love Eleanor & Park as well as All the Bright Places.

Adam Spencer Ross is almost fifteen, and he’s got his hands full confronting the everyday problems that come with having divorced parents and a stepsibling. Add to that his obsessive-compulsive disorder and it’s just about impossible for him to imagine ever falling in love. Adam’s life changes, however, the instant he meets Robyn Plummer: he is hopelessly, desperately drawn to her. But is it possible to have a normal relationship when your life is anything but?

Filled with moments of deep emotion and unexpected humor, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B explores the complexities of living with OCD and offers the prospect of hope, happiness, and healing.

Review: Fourteen-year-old Adam Spencer Ross is coping with many struggles—his obsessive compulsive disorder, his mother’s troubles, and his step-brother’s reliance on him. Adam joins a support group and connects deeply with Robyn, a fellow group member. All of the group members adopt superhero alter egos, but Adam finds it difficult to hide the fact that his rituals are increasingly getting worse. Adam wonders how he can have a normal relationship amidst the chaos he feels. Emotionally-charged, raw story with complex characters.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Similar to my post about Kids of AppetiteI’d love to include this book in a group of literature circle books that all reflect disability and friendship. It would be interesting for students to examine and conceptualize their definitions of normal. The ALAN Review‘s Fall 2016 issue is about (Re)Defining Normal, and many of the articles would be very useful for this very topic.

Discussion Questions: What struggles does Adam face? How do each of them impact his life?; What role does Adam’s mother play in his life? His father? Sweetie? Robin? Chuck? How do they all impact him positively and/or negatively?; How does Adam change throughout the novel?; What do the superhero personas offer the characters?; What is the role of family in the text? How may family be examined by traditionally and untraditionally within the context of the characters?

We Flagged: “I believe that I am a liar because I have to hide all the things I have to hide. It’s hard to remember where one lie ends and another begins. I believe lying that much changes you, makes you sick” (p. 12).

Read This If You Loved: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Recommended For:

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Kids of Appetite by David Arnold


kids of appetite

Kids of Appetite
Author: David Arnold
Published: September 20, 2016 by Viking

GoodReads Summary: The bestselling author of Mosquitoland brings us another batch of unforgettable characters in this tragicomedy about first love and devastating loss.

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

Review: I fell into this book. From the moment I started reading, I had difficulty putting it down. David Arnold has true talent at engaging readers in a thought-provoking story in which the characters have great depth. The allusions to The Outsiders will not be lost on readers. This group of kids captured my heart just like the kids within the classic. Comparing the two stories is interesting, but this book explores very different issues, and I appreciated that the author didn’t seem to intentionally align the texts too much.

The point-of-view alternates between two characters, Vic and Mad. Vic has Moebius Syndrome, which causes partial facial paralysis. He is grieving the loss of his father and struggling to come to terms with his mother’s new relationship (and the mean-spirited step-brothers that come along with this). Mad is a tortured soul—dedicated to her grandmother but struggling with the losses of her parents and a very difficult situation (no spoilers here). The other members of the crew, who don’t have their own narrative sections but whose voices are very powerful, have individual struggles that weigh on them. This group of kids finds solace in each other, and the dynamic between them is unforgettable.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I’d love to include this book in a group of literature circle books that all reflect disability. I think it would be particularly interesting to explore the intersections between friendship and disability. Students might examine and conceptualize their definitions of normal. The ALAN Review‘s Fall 2016 issue is about (Re)Defining Normal, and many of the articles would be very useful for this very topic.

Discussion Questions: What struggles do each of the characters face? How does each cope with these struggles in different ways?; How does Vic’s disability impact his interactions with others? How do others (strangers and other characters) respond to him?; What power does friendship have? How do each of these characters from different backgrounds come together, and why?; What is the role of Baz’s book? Why is it important to the story?

We Flagged: “‘We are all part of the same story, each of us different chapters. We may not have the power to choose setting or plot, but we can choose what kind of character we want to be'” (p. 104).

*This excerpt was taken from an advanced reader copy. The quote may change after the book is published.*

Read This If You Loved: The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

Recommended For:

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Risking Exposure by Jeanne Moran


risking exposure

Risking Exposure
Author: Jeanne Moran
Published September 13th, 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Summary: Munich, Germany, 1938. The Nazis are in power and war is on the horizon.

Timid Sophie Adler is a member of Hitler Youth and a talented amateur photographer. When she contracts polio, her Youth leader supplies her with film. Photographs she takes of fellow polio patients are turned into propaganda, mocking people with disabilities, people just like her.

Sophie’s new disability has changed her status. She has joined the ranks of the outsiders, targets of Nazi scorn and possible persecution.

Her only weapon is her camera.

Review: Sophie’s story is one that is not often told. World War II stories often focus on the impact of the Holocaust on the Jewish population of Europe; however, what happened to those in Germany who weren’t Jewish yet the Nazis felt were useless? This story looks at one girls’ version of a story, but Sophie still is “useful” to the Nazis because she is a photographer, but she has to make a choice between taking photographs of what she is told or photographs of the truth about what is going on in Germany. 

Much of Sophie’s story is universal: bullying, friendship, family issues, etc., but readers will also learn about the Hitler Youth and the beginning of Hitler’s rise in Germany.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: In addition to being a book that should definitely be in classroom libraries, I could also see Risking Exposure being a perfect addition to World War II lit circles/text sets. Since Sophie’s story is so unique, it will make any set of books include more diverse stories about WWII.

Discussion Questions: If you were Sophie, would you go with what she knew was right or would you do what was ordered of you?; How did contracting polio change Sophie’s life?; How did being a photographer potentially save Sophie’s life?; How did Sophie’s kindness cause her to contract polio?; How is Sophie’s story different than other WWII stories you’ve read?; How do you think Sophie’s decision is going to affect her life?

Flagged Passages: “When Werner ordered me to grab my camera and follow him into the woods, I obeyed. He was the Scharfuhrer, the Master Sergeant. What else could I do?

My best friend Ronnie bolted to her feet alongside me. ‘You don’t need to go everywhere Sophie does, Renate,’ Wener said to her in his usual high-pitched whine. But she ignored him and winked at me as we crashed through the underbrush. Rennie got away with a certain level of disobedience. Younger sisters can.

But I wasn’t Werner’s sister. I couldn’t risk it.” (p. 3)

Read This If You Loved: The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Hitler Youth by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Recommended For:

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The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner


the memory of things

The Memory of Things
Author: Gae Polisner
Published: September 6, 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

GoodReads Summary: The powerful story of two teenagers finding friendship, comfort, and first love in the days following 9/11 as their fractured city tries to put itself back together.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows. She is covered in ash and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a New York City detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope.

Review: I read this book several weeks ago, and I still can’t thinking about it. As a few other bloggers have said, this is a book about 9/11—but it isn’t a book about 9/11. It is more a book about friendship, about growing up, and about being human. There are so many topics in this book that are worthy of discussion, and I think teachers will really appreciate its beauty. The writing is quiet yet powerful, and the book has a sort of shattering impact on readers. I loved the connections that Kyle makes in this book, and I particularly enjoyed the ways each of the individuals he interacts with tells the reader more about him. He grows from everyone in this book, and I’d love to discuss this growth with students.

Teacher’s Tools for Navigation: Teachers might ask students to research the many themes of this book to provide background information. They might look at disability/caregivers, PTSD, suicide, and 9/11—just to name a few. They could also look at the different stages of trauma to learn more about how each of the characters reacts differently to the tragic events that occurred on 9/11.

Discussion Questions: Is Kyle helping the girl, or is she helping him?; What do we learn from Kyle’s uncle? What does he teach us about disability and humanity?; In what ways does Kyle show strength, and in what ways does he show weakness? How does he grow from each experience of the text?

We Flagged: “So now I get it. Now I fully understand. Tuesday, and those planes, they’ve broken something. Permanently. And in the process, they’ve changed everything. And everyone.”

This is a quote from an advanced reader’s copy. Some quotes may change before publication.

Read This If You Loved: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer; The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson; Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt, If I Lie by Corrine Jackson, Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick

Recommended For:

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What a Beautiful Morning by Arthur A. Levine


what a beautiful morning

What a Beautiful Morning
Author: Arthur A. Levine;  Illustrator: Katie Kath
Published TODAY!: August 9, 2016 by Running Press Kids

Goodreads Summary: Every morning is beautiful when Noah visits his Grandparents. When Grandpa and Noah wake up, they take off singing and hardly stop: walking the dog, splashing through puddles, and eating French toast with cinnamon. But one summer Grandpa seems to have forgotten how to do the things they love. Does he even know who Noah is? Grandma steps in energetically, filling in as best she can. But it is Noah who finds the way back to something he can share with Grandpa. Something musical. Something that makes the morning beautiful again. This is a story about how love helps us find even what we think is lost.

My Review and Teachers’ Tools for NavigationThis is a beautiful story—from cover to cover. I was enveloped by the watercolor images and words that took me inside Noah and Grandpa’s story. My toddler sat beside me and pointed to the images as I read aloud to him. While he may not have understood the story, he most certainly understood the love between Noah and his grandfather. Elementary school children will develop knowledge of the scary truths of Alzheimer’s disease. While it may feel more comfortable to shield children from these truths, the disease is very much a reality for millions of families, and this book will bring them comfort as they discuss the development of this disease in our loved ones.

Teachers might consider teaching a unit about diseases or disabilities. Texts such as these are very important for students to learn from, and this book is no exception. This might lead into a research unit where students explore and learn more about the diseases or disabilities they find within the books the teacher discusses. However, I most appreciated that this isn’t a book about Alzheimer’s Disease. This is a book is truly about the love between a child and his grandfather.

Discussion Questions: When does Noah first notice that Grandpa is having trouble remembering things? How does he react? How does Grandma react?; How does the illustrator use color to help readers better understand the story?; How does the book end? Did you like the ending? How does it connect to the beginning of the story and the overall message?

Flagged Spread: 


Read This If You Loved: 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

Check Out the Other Stops on the Blog Tour:

8/2 Flowering Minds

8/3 MomReadIt

8/4 Unpacking the POWER of Picture Books

8/5 Stacking Books

8/6 #Kidlit Book of the Day

8/8 Enjoy Embrace Learning

8/9 Unleashing Readers

8/10 Two Writing Teachers

8/11 Bildebok

8/12 Geo Librarian

8/13 Randomly Reading

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