Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review: Taking Down Syndrome to School

Taking Down Syndrome to School/>This is the first children's book (for ages 5 to 10) I have read that addresses the r-word or "retard." Nick, the main character, goes to a public school where some kids have disabilities but most don't. He explains that it hurts his feelings when other kids call him names such as the r-word. From Nick's perspective, the r-word means slow and when other kids make fun of him using the r-word, it makes Nick feel that they think he's stupid. Nick also says, "I hope if you hear someone use the word "retard," you'll tell them to stop."

Kids will always have questions and wonder about kids who seem "different." I think it's important to address these questions honestly, accurately, simply, and in a way that is relevant to them.

I like the kid-tone of the book addressing why he doesn't speak clearly sometimes, why his tongue stuck out sometimes, how he looks different, how he needs more time to learn, and how Down syndrome is not a sickness and can't be caught like a flu. It is probably wordier than any of the other kid books I've read but real and common scenarios/ issues/ questions are explained clearly and simply. It offers guidance and sets the tone for inclusion and acceptance.

At the end of the book is a mini quiz for kids, 10 tips for teachers, and information on additional resources.

"Taking Down Syndrome to School" was published in 2002 by JayJo Books, LLC and written by Jenna Glatzer, a sibling to a brother with Down syndrome. Her brother's name is Paul Glatzer.

My opinion: A book that is well done! A two-thumbs up for advocacy in school for young kids!

Have you read it? What did you think? Have you read it to a classroom of kids?


Looking Up said...

I haven't read it yet, but love the concept. Will definitely be adding it to my "must read" list. Thanks for the info.

Looking Up said...

This is off the subject, but I wanted to mention that I was able to see a replay of the Feb 17th Down syndrome Achieves" web presentation regarding the lack of federal funding for Down syndrome research. I was STUNNED & saddened to learn about how little funding the Down syndrome community has been receiving in comparison with others. Without the necessary funds, very little progress can be made in terms of scientific research. Research that could, one day, really benefit our kids. I would encourage everyone who has a loved with DS to head over to the Down syndrome Achieves website & make it a point to participate in their next web conference.