The newest children’s book from bestselling author and retired NFL coach Tony Dungy together with his wife Lauren. YOU CAN BE A FRIEND features great read-aloud text that teaches children what it means to be a good friend. “Jade has been planning to have her birthday party at a waterpark; but her new friend Hannah is in a wheelchair. Now Jade has a decision to make–is it more important to keep the celebration where she planned, or to make sure all her friends will have fun? Parents will love reading and discussing this beautiful book with their children.”
In our school system, they are always promoting various elements of character education, including looking at books that promote positive character traits and encourage children to become better people and better citizens. When I read You Can Be A Friend, I was struck by how wonderful it would be to include this book into character education. I spent many years working with individuals with disabilities and I loved this book looks at the issue of inclusion from the point of view of a child. It is a real issue – does Jade go forward with her birthday party that she has planned for and told her friends about, or does she find a way to include her friend that is in a wheelchair?
I appreciated the story and I thought it was told in such a way that it was easy for my girls to understand. Because this book is geared for children ages 4 – 7, the girls could relate to the story and it was a great way to open up a conversation about friendship, supporting friends and how choices can sometimes be difficult. I liked the fact that this story was thought-provoking and was an excellent vehicle to start a dialogue as well as being an interesting story on its face.