The Day You Begin

By: Jacqueline Woodson

Illustrator: Rafael López

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it. Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes—and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

ISBN: 9780399246531

JLG Release: Oct 2018


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Individuality , Social issues , Emotions and feelings , Schools , Friendship , Prejudice , Racism , Immigrants

$17.05  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

2019 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award Finalist, Picture Book
2019—2020 Red Clover Award Nominee
ALSC Notable Children's Books - 2019
CCBC Choices 2019 Choice: Understanding Oneself and Others
ILA Teachers' Choices - 2019
CSMCL Best Books - 2018
Publishers Weekly Best Books - 2018
CPL Best Books, Picture Books - 2018
School Library Journal Best Books - 2018
BCCB Blue Ribbons - 2018

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Publishers Weekly*, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books*

School Library Journal

A beautiful and inclusive story that encourages children to find the beauty in their own lives and share it with the world. A young girl with brown skin and curly black hair stays home through the summer to watch over her younger sister while her classmates travel to distant lands. A young boy from Venezuela arrives in his new school and finds the A beautiful and inclusive story that encourages children to find the beauty in their own lives and share it with the world. A young girl with brown skin and curly black hair stays home through the summer to watch over her younger sister while her classmates travel to distant lands. A young boy from Venezuela arrives in his new school and finds the children in his class do not speak his language. Another child brings a lunch that her classmates find too strange while another isn’t physically able to keep up with the play of other children. Each child feels very alone until they begin to share their stories and discover that it is nearly always possible to find someone a little like you. López’s vibrant illustrations bring the characters’ hidden and unspoken thoughts to light with fantastic, swirling color. Shifting hues and textures across the page convey their deep loneliness and then slowly transition into bright hopeful possibilities. Full-bleed illustrations on every page are thick with collaged patterns and textures that pair perfectly with melodic prose that begs to be read aloud. Though the story focuses on four singular experiences, there’s an essential acknowledgment that everyone will experience a time when no one is quite like them, when they can’t find their voice, or when they feel very alone. Woodson’s superlative text sees each character turns that moment of desolation into an opportunity to be brave and find hope in what they have in common. VERDICT This masterful story deserves a place in every library.–Laken Hottle, Providence Community Library

Horn Book

What will it take for a child who feels different to share her stories? Woodson’s picture book, told in second-person and (mostly) future tense, tells readers that sometimes they will feel like outcasts: “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.” The classroom of a young African American girl with a bi What will it take for a child who feels different to share her stories? Woodson’s picture book, told in second-person and (mostly) future tense, tells readers that sometimes they will feel like outcasts: “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.” The classroom of a young African American girl with a big, curly afro is such a place. The girl’s new classmate Rigoberto, recently moved from Venezuela, looks crestfallen when the class laughs at his name, but he recovers when his teacher makes his “name and homeland sound like flowers blooming the first bright notes of a song.” Other students feel left out when friends make fun of their lunch foods as “strange” and “unfamiliar,” or when no one chooses them for playground games. The story keeps returning to the original African American protagonist, who has trouble finding her voice when others recount their summer vacations full of domestic and international travel; she had to babysit her sister all summer. She finally realizes that the books she has read and shared with her sister have afforded her boundless travel. Like Woodson’s memoir Brown Girl Dreaming (rev. 9/14), this story places great value on literacy, reading, and imagination. The matte-finished pages feature illustrations in vivid, brilliant colors, with repeated appearances of flying birds and lush, twining vines and flowers. michelle h. martin

Book Details

ISBN

9780399246531

First Release

October 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

E

Trim Size

10 1/2" x 9"

Page Count

32

Accelerated Reader

Level 4; Points: 0.5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 0; Points: 0;

Lexile

Level AD980L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Nancy Paulsen

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Individuality, Social issues, Emotions and feelings, Schools, Friendship, Prejudice, Racism, Immigrants,

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