Skills Children Learn, Tough Stuff

A Bike Like Sergio’s By Maribeth Boelts

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Back of Book:
Ruben feels like he is the only kid without a bike. His friend Sergio reminds him that his birthday is coming, but Ruben knows that the kinds of birthday gifts he and Sergio receive are not the same. After all, when Ruben’s mom sends him to Sonny’s corner store for groceries, sometimes she doesn’t have enough money for everything on the list. So when Ruben sees a dollar bill fall out of someone’s purse, he picks it up and puts it in his pocket. But when he gets home, he discovers it’s not one dollar or even five or ten—it’s a hundred-dollar bill, more than enough for a new bike just like Sergio’s! But what about the crossed-off groceries? And what about the woman who lost her money?
My Review:
I feel like more stories like this book need to exist in children’s literature. Ruben represents the feelings that so many children in America have. Many families in the United States do not have extra money for extra things. Bikes are not a necessity in many homes. I loved the dilemma that Ruben is presented with. I believe this is an excellent story to teach children about morals, as well as empathy. Readers can discuss what they would do if they found a hundred-dollar bill. This story makes for a great writing assignment topic. I truly enjoy reading anything written by Maribeth Bolts. She has a gift of connecting readers with the emotions of the storyline. I look forward to her next story.

Ages 5 and up

40 Pages

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Tough Stuff

Those Shoes By Maribeth Boelts

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Back of book:  All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

My Review: I cried reading this book because it reminded of every child I met who has a story like Jeremy. This is a must read and as far as I’m concerned a must have for every elementary teacher. The story is one that all Children can relate to. There is always a child in a classroom, or down the street or at the park with just a little less than the other kids.  Jeremy just wants to be like all the other kids at school. He wants those shoes.  Instead his grandma can only afford a pair of boots that will help him get through the winter. Jeremy soon learns the value in friendship and helping others.  Great story to teach children the value of empathy,

8 years old and up

40 pages