Stand Tall, Molly Lou Mellon, by Patty Lovell, is a great book about self-esteem. Molly Lou Mellon has teeth nearly as big as her head, she sounds like a bull frog, and she’s the shortest kid in her class. However, none of that stops her from believing in herself. She learned it from her dear old grandma-LOVE YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT! Some students will identify with Molly, who’s the underdog who triumphs in the end.
Secret of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman, was a fantastic book. My students loved it. One of my students even asked if I could buy him one (I did!). He wanted to earn it. Why did my students love it so much? Well, the book deals with bullying, friendship, and turning negatives into positives. The book begins as the title character, Danny, meets an older gentleman by the name of Socrates while he’s running from a bully. It’s kinda’ like a Karate kid book. Socrates teaches Danny about the peaceful warrior. A contradiction? I know. Read it and you’ll understand.
Mr. Peabody’s Apples, by Madonna, was quite impressive. This led me to wonder if she wrote it, herself, or if she had someone ghost write it for it. Anyway!I loved this book. It deals with gossiping and its harmful effects. I read it to my students because of all the gossiping my students were doing. In the book, Mr. Peabody is the victim of vicious gossip. He teaches the perpetrator a lesson he’ll never forget.
The Color Of Us, by Karen Katz, is a book to read even in a homogeneous environment (I don’t know where that exists). Itcelebrates the different colors of everyone. It shows us how we’re alike, and how we’re different.
A Child is a Child, by Brigitte Weninger, is a wonderful book to build a sense of community. It shows that you can love someone who doesn’t look like you. My students loved it. They almost didn’t get the point I was trying to make, at first. At the time I read this book, there was a lot of name calling going on in my classroom. Once I finished the book, the students were really quiet. I asked them if they thought the idea of a mouse, who’s gray, raising frogs that are green was silly. Initially they answered yes. However, after a discussion, they agreed that it didn’t matter what color everyone was, as long as the animals (kids) were taken care of.