Resiliency Literature for September


Picture Book for K-3

Yoko by Rosemary Wells (Hyperion Books for Children, 1998)


When Yoko brings sushi to school for lunch, her classmates make fun of what she eats—until one of them tries it for himelf.


1.       What’s your favorite food? How would you feel if you were made fun of for eating it?

2.       If you offered food to someone that they didn’t want to eat, what would be a nice thing for them to say to you to let you know that?

3.       Why do you think Yoko’s mother told her try again with the sushi?

4.       How do friends help you to bounce back from feeling sad and make you feel better?

5.       What do you think Yoko will learn from this the next time something that hurts her feelings happens?


For Grades 4-7

Nelson Mandela: Long Walk for Freedom (The Official Picture Book of his Bestselling Autobiography) Abridged by Chris Van Wyk, Illustrated by Paddy Bouma, (Roaring Book Press, 2009)


Nelson Mandela from his childhood to adulthood, from school to Apartheid to jail to President—a story of his life, abridged from his own writing.

1.        What values do you think mattered most to Nelson Mandela throughout his life?  How did they affect what he did?

2.       Nelson Mandela spent a great deal of time living within Apartheid as well as in prison.  What did you think gave him strength and hope for so many years?

3.       What did you learn about Nelson Mandela from his story about getting elected to the Student Council but Nelson deciding to not sit on the student council because so few people voted?

4.       Why do you think Nelson Mandela was able to be elected president given what happened to him in his life? What things did he bounce back from that helped him be a great president?

5.       When is a time you have bounced back from something and it made you stronger and more determined ?


Other worthy books:


Grades K-3    Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows Up in the Bronxby Jonah Winter, illustrated by Edel Rodriguez (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009)   The story of the Supreme Court Justice and the resiliency and determination she and her mother had to have better lives.

Grades 3-6The Frog Prince Continued by Jon Scieszka (Scholastic, Inc., 1991)  The story of the Frog Prince after he found his princess, got depressed, and then overcame it.

Grade K-3 The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, illustrated by Michael Martchenko (Annick Press, 1981)  A princess is kidnapped by a dragon, outsmarts him, rejected by a prince, and still lives happily ever after.  The author is Unitarian from Canada.  A 25th anniversary edition is available as well, which works better for grown-ups.

Grades 2-6 The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriageby Selina Alko, illustrated by Sean Squalls and Selina Alko (Arthur A. Leving Books/Scholastic, Inc, 2015)  The story of Richard and Mildred Loving and the interracial couple’s resilience and ultimate victory in the 1960’s

Grades 3-Adult The Arrival by Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Leving Books/Scholastic, Inc, 2007) A wordless picture book/graphic novel/case study.  In wordless pictures, Australian author explores the the resilience immigrants need to make it in a newplace.  Thought-provoking, deep, and memorable.  May take several sittings to digest….and totally worth it.