The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

Image result for day you begin woodson amazon

Image result for day you begin woodson amazon

Summary:  It’s great to be unique, but what if being different makes you feel like you don’t belong?  Jacqueline Woodson explores these feelings through four children: a boy who has just moved from Venezuela and gets laughed at for the way he talks; a girl who spent her summer watching her little sister and listens to classmates talk about their vacation travels; a girl who is self-conscious about having kimchi for lunch; and a boy who doesn’t feel like a good enough athlete to join in games at recess.  By the end of the book the girl with the little sister and the boy from Venezuela have connected and are beginning a friendship. “This is the day you begin/to find the places inside/your laughter and your lunches,/your books, your travel and your stories,/where every new friend has something/a little like you–and something else/so fabulously not quite like you/at all.” 32 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  Award-winning writer Jacqueline Woodson captures uncertainties perfectly with her lyrical text; the illustrations portray the different emotions on the faces of the kids in a diverse classroom as they find their way through their first days of school.

Cons:  This is more of a meditation than a story, and the structure may be a little confusing to younger kids.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.

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