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Review: The Monster at Recess by Shira Potter

Before Sophie came to her new school, she felt loved and accepted. When she arrived at her new school, she was made to feel invisible because she was perceived as different. In an attempt to make friends, she was either laughed at or treated as if she wasn't there. During class, she starting observing the monsters playing at recess. Since they were different, they weren't allowed to play with the students who weren't. They were called names and she was told bad things about them because they were different.

One day when she was walking home, she found a hat that belonged to the one of the monsters. When the opportunity arose, she decided to find out what the monsters were like despite what she was told. She saw how much they enjoyed each other and wanted to be a part of it and not wanting to be like her peers, she wanted to return the hat to whomever it belonged to. She got side tracked by for the first time feeling accepted. As you follow her journey, she learns the true value of self worth, acceptance and true friendship.

Overall, I thought this was a fantastic lesson for young kids considering the climate out there in schools where kids don't feel accepted and are bullied. It isn't just with the kids, in many school systems, teachers and administrators need to evaluate their role in students who are bullied. How they treat those students can have a severe impact as well as of the bullies. The journey Sophie takes is admirable and inspiring because it takes a lot for someone to internalize what she had to go through. The love and acceptance that she found with the monsters being the catalyst for her to find self acceptance without anymore fear and really be accepted will inspire kids out there who don't feel included to know that they are somebody. A wonderful story that embraces the love of acceptance, friendship and finding your way will leave a lasting impression. I would definitely grab a copy!

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