Best Chapter Books that Teach Compassion
I am shocked that Introducing…Sasha Abramowitz by Sue Halpern did not win any awards. It reminds me a lot of Rules by Cynthia Lord which won a Newbery Award. Must have been a tough year that year! If you child like Rules, s/he will love this book.
Sasha Abramowitz, the narrator of this novel for 9 to 12-year-olds, is wrestling with feelings of guilt and shame as she tries to come to terms with her older brother, who has Turret’s Syndrome and has been sent to a special school after a terrible incident involving their swimming pool. In contrast to her brother who is a source of embarrassment preventing her from a normal family life, is her babysitter, Drew Hardy, who is a college student and star athlete at the college where both her parents teach.
Things get more complicated for Sasha when both her brother and her babysitter need to stay at her house. It’s after she makes a new male friend from her class play whose parents have special needs that Sasha starts to realize that for every negative there is also a positive. And while she was only able to see the negative in her brother, a surprise at her play makes her realize that he’s the liability she thought he was.
This is such a great book on so many levels. The plot is tightly written with memorable characters that somehow all get interwoven into the final chapter. Sasha is also such a engaging and realistic character that you can’t help but sympathize with her point of view but also gain insight as she does as she starts to see her brother from other people’s point of view. I highly recommend this book for grades 4-6th.
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