kidsDifferent Strokes for Different Folks

By Barbara Bietz

Kids may not have the same interests as their peers. They may have other dissimilarities too, in the way they look, their family backgrounds, or the way they speak. There are terrific books that encourage us all that it’s okay to be different!

It’s Okay To Be Different by Todd Parr is a colorful celebration of uniqueness! Colorful child-friendly illustrations with declarations of “It’s okay,” will ring true for anyone who has felt singled out. From “It’s okay to be adopted,” to “It’s okay to come in last,” there is a universality to this charming book that is a perfect read aloud for early grades, and can serve as a gentle introduction to important discussions about tolerance.

The Only Boy in Ballet Class by Denise Gruska, illustrated by Amy Wunner, is a delightful story about Tucker, a boy who is passionate about his dance. He prevails in spite of teasing and skepticism of doubting family members. This heartfelt story will help encourage young readers to try something new, no matter what other may think. Tucker is a role model for anyone who ever let doubt get in the way of a dream.

Tackling Dad by Elizabeth Levy is a middle grade novel about Cassie, a girl who goes out for the school football team after her parents divorce. She has the coach’s support, but not her dad’s. Cassie deals with seeking her dad’s approval, and the dynamics of a blended family.

 

Reading good books with our kids is a great way to learn about other people, and promote tolerance. Kids who feel different from their peers are likely to find a kindred soul in the pages of a book. The right book can enlighten, educate, and entertain.

Happy Reading!

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz

Barbara Bietz, -Childrens' Books and Movie Section, is a children's author, magazine writer, children's book reviewer, and past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. She loves talking about the creative process, books and the craft of writing. Her middle-grade chapter book, LIKE a MACCABEE,(Yotzeret Publishing) is a PJ Library selection. Barbara reviews books and movies and has contributed to numerous print and online publications. She also teaches writing classes for adults. Learn more about Barbara at www.BarbaraBietz.com
Barbara Bietz

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