Something Good

Little, Brown. Sept. 2021. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780759557420.
K-Gr 4–Campbell sets children down in the middle of something serious. What if someone did something bad at your school? How would you feel? How would you act? How would you move forward? The principal talks to the students individually. The kids really want to know what the bad thing is, so they sneak into the girls’ bathroom to find out. Even though Campbell never says what’s written on the wall, it’s apparent that it’s really offensive. The parents are told and talk about it in hushed tones, and the kids find themselves being a little meaner to everyone. But then the process of moving forward begins. The principal gives the kids ribbons to remind them about their belonging and their community. The teachers help to recreate the space in the bathroom by having everyone come in and make it beautiful. This is a wonderful story about the power of positive action and about the power of community. Luyken’s artwork adds to the communal feel of the story, showing lots of different kinds of kids with loving energy. This will be a wonderful book to share with students to help build school community as well as to cope with some of the negative energy that sometimes arises.
VERDICT With the current emphasis on SEL, this book would be an excellent starting point for many conversations.

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