Monday, December 17, 2018

The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson

A Story That Celebrates Being You

While this book seems to be more about the challenges of Angelina, a brown skin girl with large curly hair, the content applies to everyone. Because we've all felt like we don't fit in.
Maybe it will be your skin, your clothes, or the curl of your hair.
Sometimes it will be what we say, sometimes we might be laughed at. As Angelina begins school she realizes that most of her classmates traveled during the summer. Angelina stayed home caring for her sister. She enjoyed that experience but feels again that she stands out from her classmates.

Three other children—Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela; perhaps a Korean girl with lunch of kimchi, rice, and meat; and a white boy from what might be a suburb—experience teasing for their outsider status as well. 

The illustrations depict quite sad and lonely children.
And all that stands beside you is your own brave self - - steady as steel and ready even though you don't yet know what you're ready for. 
And here is where the story begins to take a brighter view of the situation. Even though Angelina still feels like no one there is quite like her, she begins to share her stories. She begins by explaining that reading and telling stories to her sister during the summer made her feel like she'd traveled everywhere.

By sharing something about herself, the other children begin to relate and share as well.

My Thoughts

What Concerned Me: Nothing

What I Liked Most: This demonstrated the challenges that everyone, both young and old, has experienced at one time or another. It suggests a coping strategy and shows that the problem can not only affect those from other countries, but also those who are local. In fact, it can branch out to those with disabilities, food allergies, lower learning skills, economically challenged, and much more. This is a universal problem that many are are attempting to deal with.

It is a perfect book for teachers to share with their classrooms since it gives a wonderful awareness and opens lots of opportunity for discussions.

Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: Rafael Lopez
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books (August 2018)
Approx. Word Count: 622
Pages: 32

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