Published by HarperCollins
Summary: It’s the first day of school, and the narrator is scared as his grandfather drives him to school. Big Papa turns his car into a time machine, and the two of them travel back in time: to 1952 Little Rock where Big Papa is leaving home for the first time; 1986 Chicago where his daughter leaves her baby with him, then disappears; a 1941 cotton field where a man tears up the young Papa’s schoolwork and tells him the field is his only school. Each time, Big Papa explains to the boy how scared he was, but that he had to be brave to move forward. By the time they reach school, the boy has gotten the message and is ready to hug his grandfather good-bye and courageously head toward school. Includes an author’s note about his grandfather who inspired this book and an illustrator’s note. 40 pages; ages 4-8.
Pros: An interesting twist on a first-day-of-school book, or any other situation that requires courage. This could inspire some good inter-generational discussions about what it’s like to be scared and/or brave.
Cons: The intended audience of first-time school attenders may need some extra help to understand the different circumstances of Big Papa’s life.