Sunday, August 28, 2016

Summer Reading 2016 The Class


At this time of year there is always a demand for "back to school" stories. Teachers everywhere all have a favorite that they like to read to their students on that first day of class. Most of them feature what goes on in school and all the mishaps of being unable to find your locker (or cubby), being worried about what the teacher will be like, missing the bus, etc. But Ashburn has put together a different kind of story. All the kids who will come together and form a class as they get out of bed and prepare for their first morning of school. Some are sleepy, or worried, or have bed head. Others are excited, dressed to the hilt, or busy with putting on new shoes. But however their morning begins, they all arrive at school to form a class.

It's refreshing that the time before school is shown - the search for socks, gobbling down breakfast, loading up backpacks - these are all things that kids know about firsthand. And such a variety of skin tones, hair colors, and visible levels of prosperity are shown that there should be someone for each student in a class to identify with in some way. The diversity isn't trumpeted from the rooftops, but the mention of kids who have the "Old-Shoe Blues" and of one who has to make do (because they have no backpack), shows a range of economic groups. The illustrations show children from all types of ethnic and racial backgrounds. But the main point is in the title, The Class. All these unique little humans create something amazing together, a community that will last all year and have many learning adventures. That's what school is all about.

Highly recommended for elementary age.

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