Monday, February 4, 2019

Winter Reading 2019 Jacob's Room to Choose


This sequel to Jacob's New Dress centers around the problems Jacob and his friend Sophie have when they use the restroom at school. Since Jacob loves to wear dresses, the boys chase him out of their bathroom. The same thing happens to Sophie in the girls' restroom because she is wearing shorts rather than a dress; the girls tell her she has to use the boys' restroom.

Luckily, they have an awesome teacher who wants all the students to feel safe at school. She leads the class in an activity about making assumptions based on appearance, then asks the question. "I wonder if there is another way?" The problem-solving that the kids do is helpful and positive.

The authors include a letter in the back of the book that explains how their son's experiences as a young child who did not dress in the expected gender-conforming style caused stressful situations and even violent reactions by other boys - especially in restrooms. Their own knowledge of the difficulties for children in those situations led them to write both these books to help others understand.

This would be a helpful book for families dealing with similar situations, or for teachers like Ms. Reeves who are trying to provide a safe learning environment for all their students.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher for review purposes. (Any quotes or character names may change before final publication.)

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