• Parents:  Below are some books that deal with disabilities, differences and acceptance.  I have listed the title, objective of each book and some questions to ask before, during and after reading. 


    Enjoy!  Carolyn Ammazzalorso


    Title:                          The Hating Book

    By Charlotte Zolotow


    Theme:                         Friends/Misunderstanding

                                        Social Skills


    Objective:                     Students will realize when a perceived problem arises it is better to address the situation with the person rather than letting the problem build up.


    Summary:                     As a hurt little girl tells about a misunderstanding with her friend, her mother repeatedly suggests that she talk to her friend and fine out why she is ignoring her. The girl says she cannot talk to her friend and that she would rather die than confront her. Eventually, she is so unhappy that she follows her mother’s advice and the situation is resolved.



    Questions:                    Before Reading


                                        1.  Have you ever had a fight with your best

    friend?  How did you feel?


    2. How did you resolve the disagreement?


                                        During Reading


    1. Do you think the friend was trying to be

    mean? (p. 15)


    2. Why do you think the friend is not talking to her? (p. 21)


    3. Why do you think the mother keeps telling her to “ask her?” (p.24)



                            After Reading


    1. Did anything like this happen to you? If so,

    what did you do? If not, what would you do?


    2. What were the friends fighting over? How was it resolved?






    Title:                             Be Good to Eddie Lee

                                        By Virginia Fleming


    Theme:                         Dealing with Developmental Disabilities


    Objective:                     Students will accept the differences of others and realize that

    everyone has a strength to offer.


                                        Students will empathize with the characters and how it feels to be

    treated differently.


    Summary:                     Eddie Lee is a young boy with a developmental disability who

    lives next door to Kristy. Eddie Lee, Kristy, and Jim Bud explore the swamps of the south together in this beautifully illustrated book. At first Jim Bud and Kristy do not want Eddi Lee along with them, but Eddie Lee takes Kristy to a special place and gives her a gift that is precious, his friendship.



    Questions:                    Before Reading


    1. Do a picture walk. Choose a picture and discuss the facial expressions.


    2. Discuss the title of the story. Why is it called Be Good to Eddie?


    During Reading


    1.      How do you think Eddie Lee feels being left behind?


    2.      How does Eddie feel when he realizes he knows where to find the frog eggs and water lilies?


    After Reading


    1.      What are some of Eddie strengths?


    2. What did Eddie mean when he and Kristy were looking at their reflection in the pond and he said, “I like you anyway”?


    3. What does this book teach you about accepting others differences?





    Title:                             Big Al

                                        By Andrew Clements


    Theme:                         Differences



    Objective:                     Students will not make judgements based on appearances or


    Summary:                     Big Al is a nice fish, but he is big and scary looking and has no

    friends. He tries many times to get close to the other fish, but they are afraid of him. One day Big Al makes a heroic rescue of many fish caught in a net. The fish realize what a truly terrific fish he is, and Al finds a new school of friends.



    Questions:                    Before Reading


    1.      If you were one of the little fish, how would feel seeing Big Al?


    2.      Why do you think kids tease other kids based upon the way they look? (glasses, overweight, braces, behavior, etc…)


    During Reading


    1.      Have you ever been scared by the way someone looks?


    2. Have you ever tried to make yourself look or act different so you

    would fit in?  Did it work?


    3.      Have you ever tried to join in a group activity and was not allowed? How did you feel?


    After Reading


    1.      How did Big Al become accepted?


    2.      What do you think the little fish learned about judging others by their actions or appearances?







    Title                              Thank You, Mr. Falker

                                         By Patricia Polacco


    Theme:                          Learning Disability


    Objective:                     Students will accept others who learn differently.


    Summary:                                 Little Trisha is overjoyed at the thought of starting school and learning how to read. But right from the start, when she tries to read, all the letters and numbers just get jumbled up. And her classmates make matters worse by calling her “dummy” and “toad”.

    Then, in fifth grade, a new teacher comes. A real character! He sees right through the sad little girl to the artist she really is. And when he discovers Trisha’s secret – that she still can’t read – he sets out to help her prove to herself that she can. And will!




    Questions:                    Before Reading


    1.      What is something that you are good at? What is something that is difficult for you?


    2.      When you are asked to complete something that is difficult for you, have you felt like giving up? Have you been made fun of for not being able to do it? How did it make you feel?


    During Reading


    1.      Even though Trisha was a great artist, why do you think she felt bad about herself?


    2.      How did Trisha feel when Mr. Falker stood up for her and asked the class, “Are any of you perfect?”


    3.      Do you know someone who bullied another student, like Eric did? Why did s/he do it? How did it make him/her feel?


    4. Why do you think Eric is bullying Trisha?



    After Reading


    1.      In the beginning of the story, Trisha’s Grandmother said,
    “to be different is the miracle of life.” In what ways are people different? Is it bad to be different?


    2.      Discuss whom Patricia Polacco and how she overcame her disability.

Last Modified on September 5, 2022