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  • Writer's pictureOn the Same Page Boston

Book Highlight from the Amazon Wishlist!

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Today we are highlighting: The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez (available in English and Spanish)

The Day You Begin is an illustrated children’s book that explores ideas of differences that can embrace friendships and similarities that pull people together. Woodson writes about two different young students struggling in the classroom because they feel like outsiders compared to their fellow peers. However, instead of feeling and staying small, she continues to display her characters as confident and excited to be a part of their community. They share their stories like their other classmates do and are proud to share their language along with who they are. Because these characters took up space, they were able to find friends similar and “fabulously different” from them.

Jacqueline Woodson created a poetic, uplifting, and vastly representative story that speaks on difficulties that diverse students deal with because they are deemed “othered” by their classmates. However, not only does she write this story with attention and intention to portray what these students experience, but also to inspire the children reading to not stand down and to take up space. Their story is meaningful and meant to be heard. Through this story, people can make thorough and deep connections. Like Woodson writes in her book, “And all at once, in the room where no one else is quite like you the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you.” With the vibrant and beautiful illustrations from Rafael Lopez, this pair produced a wonderfully real story that many kids connect to. Having stories like these lets young children know they are not alone and gives them a place to feel not only represented but encouraged. Woodson is spreading her word of inclusivity and representation one story at a time!

Visit Henderson’s Amazon wishlist to donate The Day You Begin, or any other book, today!

Written By: Olivia Tosto



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