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A Place for Everyone Is the Lesson in Delightful Picture Book for Young Readers

Cindy Hewitt is a retired teacher with a passion for children's literature. Read-aloud stories add quality to a child's life experiences.

Success in Finding a Place for Everyone

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Learning That Everyone Has a Place

Heather Avis's delightful picture book Everyone Belongs is a perfect choice for young readers to start the new school year with learning that there will be a lot of new friends and everyone is different. Teachers and parents always have the challenge of helping children learn acceptance. Bullying is still a large problem and discussions about differences are helpful in learning to combat bullying. Picture books and stories such as this one can be a useful tool in beginning discussions about differences and how to ensure that no one is left out in activities.

Macy and Tru are sisters and they know that they are different in a lot of ways. They are not the same age. Tru is taller than Macy. They both want to shine together as they plan to put on a show. They are busy gathering friends to be in their show and one friend has a different way of communicating. He must use an electric notepad to communicate. Macy and Tru find a way for him to be in included in the show. A second friend has a vision challenge as she is blind. Macy and Tru meet this challenge to include their blind friend in the show. They even find a place for the friends who are too shy to be on the stage. These friends find a place to work behind the stage. The final challenge is their friend in a wheelchair. Young readers will find that Macy and Tru meet this challenge to include him in a very special way.

Sarah Mensinga contributed her talents as an illustrator to this fun read. Colorful illustrations feature all of the children with differences and the ways that Macy and Tru include their friends who are different in the show to make it successful.

Everyone Belongs was published by Waterbrook Publishing, a division of Penguin/Random House. It is recommended for ages 5-9 and has an ISBN of 978-0-593-23267-5.

Colorful Illustrations Feature All the Ways That People Are Different

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Bring Macy and Tru Into Your Classroom for Fun Lessons About Differences

The beginning of school is a great time for children to encounter new friends and to recognize that there will be many children with differences. Heather Avis's story of how Macy and Tru made a place for everyone in their show is a fun read to help children learn to accept any new friend that they might encounter this year as they go back to school.

*Read Everyone Belongs in a story time session. Call attention to how the two sisters are different. Tru is taller than Macy. Provide a learning opportunity for students to measure their classmates' height and discover the differences in heights. This is a fun math activity to graph the heights of all of the classmates. Who is the tallest?

*Call attention to the little boy who uses an electric notepad to communicate. Is there a student in your school who has this disability?

*Call attention to the little blind girl. Is there a student in your school who is blind?

*Call attention to the little boy in the wheelchair. Is there a student who uses a wheelchair in your school?

*Engage the children in a discussion about how they can help classmates with disabilities and make sure that they are included in all activities.

Meet the Author and Illustrator

Heather Avis is a bestselling author and cohost of The Lucky Few podcast. She is also the founder of a social awareness brand of The Lucky Few. This brand focuses on awareness and help for people with Down Syndrome. She named her characters in Everyone Belongs after her two daughters.

Sarah Mensinga contributed her talents as an illustrator to create the charming characters for Everyone Belongs. She has illustrated several books and has contributed her talents to animated films. She is currently working on a graphic novel.

© 2022 Cindy Hewitt

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