January SEL Books of the Month Advocate for Courage

This month, our Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen encourages everyone across the District to read books that advocate for courage. Our social and emotional learning (SEL) books for the month of January are Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna for elementary readers, One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia for middle school readers, and The Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah for high school readers.

January Theme: Courage

We analyze the courage it takes to overcome adversity, take risks, and advocate for one’s self.

Book Summaries

  • In Me and My Fear (elementary school readers), when a young girl has to travel to a new country and start at a new school, she is accompanied by her Fear who tells her to be alone and afraid. It grows bigger and bigger every day with questions like, “how can you hope to make new friends if you don’t understand their language?” But this little girl is stronger than her Fear. A heart-warming and timely tale, this book shows us the importance of sharing your Fear with others –after all, everyone carries a Fear with them.
  • In One Crazy Summer (middle school readers), “Eleven-year-old Delphine is like a mother to her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern. She’s had to be, ever since their mother, Cecile, left them seven years ago for a radical new life in California. But when the sisters arrive from Brooklyn to spend the summer with their mother, Cecile is nothing like they imagined. While the girls hope to go to Disneyland and meet Tinker Bell, their mother sends them to a day camp run by the Black Panthers. Unexpectedly, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern learn much about their family, their country, and themselves during one truly crazy summer.”
  • In The Lines We Cross (high school readers), Michael must decide which side of the protest line aligns with his core values, the side where his parents and others stand or the side with Mina, the beautiful Muslim refugee from Afghanistan.

SEL Competency

Self-management skills allow individuals to handle daily stresses and control their emotions under difficult situations. Students’ capacities to regulate their emotions impact student memory and the cognitive resources they use on academic tasks. Self-management skills include the ability to monitor and reflect on personal and academic goal-setting. Academic self-regulation has important implications for student motivation in the classroom, as well as the learning strategies students use to master material.

Several copies of each book are available at school libraries/media centers and can also be found in myBackpack via Class Pass @APS.

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