Monday, August 12, 2013
Book Review: Callie's Rules by Naomi Zucker
I don't do this very often, but I really liked this book by Naomi Zucker*! Callie is an eleven year-old who is a little bit different. She's smart, and comes from a big family, and pretty much has to decide whether to try to fit in, or to embrace who she is and be true to herself.
This book is exceptional on several levels, and I wish I had more time to spend here, but I'm gonna have to make this my "3rd Grade Level" book report. (Not my best work, but better than nothin'.)
I liked this book because:
It was clean
It promoted big families
It discussed friendship
Good teachers making a difference were involved
The main character had two parents who cared
They ate dinner together as a family every night
Boys and girls interacted in age-appropriate ways
The main character learned integrity
Topics like forgiveness were addressed
It was fun to read, funny, and very well-written
The main character learned to adapt to adversity, but not at the expense of "stupid" adults, (mostly)
Social rules are examined thoughtfully
Intelligence and Creativity were promoted
It will be our next read-aloud with the little girls. If I were teaching, I would do a unit around it in my classroom, and have several copies available, maybe a classroom set.
It would be a great springboard for quite a few discussions. One of my best friends doesn't celebrate Halloween with her family for several of the reasons mentioned in the book, which I totally respect. We do celebrate Halloween, and I think it's important for kids to understand that there are different points of view in the world about different issues, and a lot of ways to work around those without hurting others.
This book also works with the discussion that arose earlier on Goodreads about "fitting in" vs. "belonging".
I wish Disney would do a sitcom about Callie, and stay true to all of the characters--let Naomi Zucker direct and write the screenplay. We need less glitzy drama and more stability in our world.
*Naomi Zucker doesn't know me from Adam, and I am not being compensated in any form to write this. It's just for my own personal entertainment, and yours. Also, it's a stalling technique. Dishes and laundry. You're welcome. ;)