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“This kind of thing won’t be tolerated at our school,” the principal declares the day the “bad-something” is discovered written on a wall. The incident makes the kids nervous, giggly, and curious at first, but then they’re worried, confused, sad and angry. Everyone is suspicious. Who did it, and why? They miss the days before the bad-something appeared, because everything—and everyone—feels different now. It takes a lot of talking, listening, looking, and creating something good together to find a way to heal. The story acknowledges that while the scars of such incidents remain, it is possible to teach tolerance and feel true community once again.
Written and illustrated by the acclaimed creators of Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse!, here is a brave book about the power of words that tackles one of the most difficult topics for elementary school-aged children—hate speech—in a direct, realistic, and empathetic manner.
Here, I discuss the origin of the book in an essay for Little, Brown.
Praise for Something Good
“The honest, matter-of-fact narration…offers multiple ways to look at one’s roles in the world and in one’s communities. A valuable conversation starter.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This is a wonderful story about the power of positive action and about the power of community.”
—School Library Journal
“Campbell focuses on how to process and move forward—together.”
—The Horn Book
“A valuable resource…to equip classrooms for crisis.”
“Teachers and librarians will welcome this title into their collections.”
—School Library Connection
“The first-person narration has an effective immediacy as the girls process the experience, and the changes in class behavior capably illustrate the way group dynamics can be affected for ill and also for good.”
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Readers’ Choice Book Award in Juvenile Literature from the Ohioana Library
Nominated for the Buckeye Children’s Book Award
Finalist for the Washington State Book Award