"I made the mistake of thinking I could tell my mom."- T
"For three days I considered the idea of switching to homeschooling or going to another school."- Vincent
"I don't mean this in a bad way...but do you feel better after you bully someone?" - Libby
"...because our school doesn't have kids like that."- Jack
Who knew an index card could change the world? Well, for one, Libby knew and for sure the world these four kids live in needs some changing. Four kids, Jack, Libby, Vincent and T are up against some real struggles in their lives.
Jack lost a younger brother. Now he's slowly piecing together the truth of his family and beginning to recognize what they didn't want to accept.
Libby lives in a family where only the older brother counts and no one sees her or has any idea who she is and what she wants to do and be. When she paints a gorgeous mural on a school wall, her father gets the phone call from the school and she gets grounded for a week.
Vincent loves math, especially triangles, and he loves puffins. At school he is bullied - he's that kid who gets stuffed in the locker - and no adult notices. His mother wants him to be normal which pretty much breaks out to Vincent becoming invisible and not having room to be who he is.
T is living on the street with a dog named Pekoe. The family couldn't accept T so T walked away to find a space where T could be T. Sometimes that space doesn't have much food. Most of the time that space doesn't have a roof and a door.
Connection. Acceptance, Love, Being yourself. Four kids who deserve to know they are amazing just the way they are and families, communities, other students, authorities all oblivious to the agony and the pain and all caught up in their own misplaced values and comfort zones.
What are these four kids going to do in this world that tells them no?
How tough does a kid have to be today to get accepted and more? When do we start seeing the small aggressions that tear a kid apart? When does a kid who loves puffins and triangles get clapped on the back for being a great guy and the bully who mocks others gets treated like a pariah?
This is four stories plus our own stories. This is a door opener. This is a wake up call. This is a chance for you to find people who see who you are and know they have got your back. This is an amazing invitation to discover that you ... yep, you.....are amazing just the way you are.
240 pages 978-1984816061 Ages 9-13
Keywords: being yourself, being different, diversity, diverse books, acceptance, accepting others, bullies, school issues, family, family life, brothers and sisters, transgender, LGBTQ, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, friends, friendship, Social Emotional Learning SEL, respecting others
Recommended by: Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com
One small act of kindness ripples out to connect four kids in this stirring novel by the author of the beloved The Benefits of Being an Octopus.
Libby comes from a long line of bullies. She wants to be different, but sometimes that doesn’t work out. To bolster herself, she makes a card with the message You are amazing. That card sets off a chain reaction that ends up making a difference in the lives of some kids who could also use a boost—be it from dealing with bullies, unaccepting families, or the hole that grief leaves. Receiving an encouraging message helps each kid summon up the thing they need most, whether it’s bravery, empathy, or understanding. Because it helps them realize they matter—and that they're not flying solo anymore.---from the publisher