GUEST WRITER STACY MCCARTHY RECOMMENDS THE DAY YOU BEGIN BY JACQUELINE WOODSON
“There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you”. Most students can relate to a time when they felt left out or felt like they did not have anything interesting to say or share. When asked what they did during a summer break lots of kids are eager to share about their summer adventures, but there may be a student who does not share and usually behind that there is an insecurity or worry that what they did was not exciting enough. This story shares many examples of how one might feel different from the rest, whether it be clothing, skin color, hair, or the food they eat. The art and the words in the book lead us to a point where a student feels like they are on the outside looking in. Until one day they find their voice and courage to speak up. “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you until the day you begin…” and then you find “the world opens itself up to make some space for you”. The art is so beautiful and the color contrast between the moments of feeling left out to the moments of celebration are breathtaking.
This was the first book I have read from Jacqueline Woodson; she has a lyrical way of telling a story and with Rafael Lopez’s art it is as if the words are singing and the pictures are dancing.
My grade 5 students really enjoyed the book and the pictures. One student said, “Not everyone is the same and that’s okay!” Another said, “I felt really sad in the beginning but in the end happy”. “I love the art! Each kid is different. I loved the book!”
Stacy McCarthy teaches at Andover Elementary School. She has been teaching for 10 years and loves being introduced to new authors. When she is not teaching you can find her with her family, sledding or skating.