Sunday, December 9, 2007

Holiday Book #7

So, I'm straying from the norm a bit, but I loved this next story so much I had to include it. The Only One Club written by Jane Naliboff and illustrated by Jeff Hopkins is not entirely a holiday story, though it does start out that way. However, the lesson it teaches is incredibly valuable and I really hope you and your children will want to read this.

The Only One Club introduces us to Jennifer, a first grader, who is told by her teacher one day that the class is going to be making Christmas decorations for that afternoon's craft activity. Jennifer is the only Jewish student in her class and her teacher tells her that it's perfectly fine for her to make Hanukkah decorations instead. Jennifer is actually really excited about being singled out and having everyone know that she is "The Only One" and decides that night to create an Only One club, that only she can be a part of.

The next day at school, Jennifer proudly flaunts her Only One club button and tells each of her classmates that of course they can't join her club, they aren't the only Jewish student in the class. Slowly, Jennifer begins to realize that though she may be the only Jewish student, each of her classmates is the only-something. Jonah is the only one with red hair, Niki and Nina are the only set of twins, and Michael is the only one in the high math class. Pretty soon, Jennifer invites everyone to be in her Only One club, making the decision that differences should be embraced, not cast out.

The message in this story is put across perfectly and I really think that besides being an enjoyable book to read, it is also an important choice. As I said before, the only holiday portion of the book is the fact that the students make decorations in the beginning and that Jennifer celebrates Hanukkah, but it is still definitely worth a read this season.

No comments: