/>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?