Love, Z

Last week I read the story Love, Z by Jessie Sima with a group of 9-11 year olds. The story is about a young robot, Z, who finds a bottle with a message inside that is indecipherable except for two words: “Love, Beatrice.” Z wonders what love means. The robot asks all the other robots, but Love, Z


This year the journal Questions: Philosophy for Young People, which I founded 20 years ago and which has become one of the official journals of the organization PLATO (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization), publishes the philosophical work of young people. The theme of the 2021 issue is hope. I recently met with a group of fifth Hope

Snack Attack

The video “Snack Attack” portrays (without words) an elderly woman inside a train station, who buys a packet of cookies at a vending machine, putting them in her purse. She then heads outside to sit on a bench and wait for her train, sitting next to a teenage boy. Picking up the packet of cookies Snack Attack

Being a Friend

Last week I was in a fourth grade classroom and we read the story The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig, a picture book I’ve written about previously in this blog. We started our discussion with a question asked by one of the students about why Brian thought he was invisible. This students wondered whether Brian should Being a Friend

The Story of Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (illustrator Robert Lawson) is the story of a young bull, Ferdinand, growing up in Spain. Ferdinand, unlike all the other little bulls around him, does not spend his time running and jumping and butting heads with other bulls. Ferdinand likes “to sit just quietly and smell the flowers.” Ferdinand The Story of Ferdinand

The Invisible Boy

The Invisible Boy, a 2013 picture book written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patricia Barton, was recommended to me recently by a colleague. The “invisible boy” of the story is Brian, who, unlike some of his classmates, doesn’t “take up a lot of space” and isn’t noticed by either his teacher or the other The Invisible Boy

Four Feet, Two Sandals

Four Feet, Two Sandals, by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, tells the story of two ten-year-old girls, Lina and Feroza, and their families, who are living in a refugee camp in Pakistan, having fled the war in Afghanistan. The girls become friends when each finds one sandal from a matching pair, after relief workers throw used clothing Four Feet, Two Sandals

Randall’s Wall

Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner is a book for upper elementary school students about a young boy who lives inside an invisible wall, which protects him from the cruelty of his classmates. The wall also helps him from focusing on his abusive father and frail mother, and his house that lacks running water for bathing Randall’s Wall