Monday, September 1, 2014

Great book to discuss self acceptance as well as the hurt of bullying

Wonderful book about blocking negativity and learning to love yourself. This book was a jewel of a read with so many different ways to open discussions from bullying, to respect, to accepting who you are. Abena is a sweet little girl who's growing awareness of the negative comments of former playmates begins to sour her demeanor. Where she used to find pleasure in her African roots, now she resents anything about her culture. Her grandmother tells her stories about her own youth, as well as quotes her pastor, that "God doesn't make mistakes." She stresses the lesson that we have to find peace and happiness with who we are. Abena shakes off her resentments and when she goes to school the next day, she encounters another girl who faces similar problems. She passes along her lesson, and the girls find their happy place. Washington writes clearly, without sentimentality, but with bright dialog and great visuals. I felt like a fly on the wall in Abena's bedroom. This book transcends race, creed, or nationality. Any educator can broaden a discussion to encompass all types of prejudice. Whether it's body type, a physical challenge, or a person's background, intolerance hurts, ignorance is dangerous, and bigotry is a weapon that loses it's barb when a person is armored with self confidence.

Happy Reading!
Carole P. Roman

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