Late in the afternoon at the Book Blogger Convention, I struck up a conversation with Sarah from Tilbury House Publishers. She recognized my blog (thank you, Sarah!) and then asked if Betty and Boo would be interested in reading the galleys of two of their newest children’s books. I happily accepted and brought both home, explaining the concept of a galley to the kids.
One of Us is a new release, just published on June 1, 2010. It’s a delightful story about Roberta, a new student at Baker School who arrives two weeks after classes begin (because of her family’s move). In her class, Roberta seeks to find friends who accept her for who she is, not for who others think think she should be.
It’s harder than she thought. Roberta plays with the Monkey Bar Gang at recess, but at lunch, they shun her because of the kind of lunchbox she has. At the table where kids have similar lunchboxes, Roberta is mocked for the ethnic food her mother packed for lunch. But, they’re all wearing the same kind of shoes. Will Roberta ever fit in?
One of Us is suggested for grades 2-6. Betty and Boo just finished 2nd grade, and I think they’re at the perfect age range for this one. (Not quite so sure about a sixth grader.) The book’s message about handling peer pressure and the perceived need to conform to others’ expectations is one that is especially important at this young age.
Betty and I read this together (Boo is in a phase right now where he will only read and listen to biographies) and she said she “loved it.” When I asked why, she said that she liked Roberta’s curly hair. Prompted further, she added, “Everyone should be allowed to do what they love and not worry about what other people think.”
Yep. What she said.
Among the great aspects of Tilbury House is the Teachers Take Note section for several books on their website, including One of Us. Author Peggy Moss has written extensively on school bullying, a topic that is close to home for our family. I would definitely recommend this book for kids in a new school or just trying to figure out where they fit in.
Thanks so much, Sarah and Tilbury House, for giving me (and my kids!) the chance to review One of Us!
copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo’s Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.