Summer's Shadow children's book (bullying, conflict, mental health)
Summer, a happy-go-lucky and free-spirited young girl who loves to draw, design, and then wear her stylish outfits, loses her sense of self and confidence when she is devastated by a classmate’s continual negative comments. Max begins pointing out her unique style as weird and wrong, making Summer feel shame and sadness. The shadow that looms over her hinders Summer’s ability to carry on with her dreams and daily activities until her friends and mom notice a change in her personality. Summer’s Shadow teaches children how bullying and teasing affect their mental health and how it invades personal boundaries. This book explores self-respect and celebrates our own unique talents and dreams. The reader should take the time necessary to unpack and examine how bullying behavior from one child can cause another to question their own self-worth. Discussing someone’s own creativity, choices, beliefs, religion, race, or personal life choices teaches children inclusiveness and identifies bullying behavior as inappropriate. Through these vital discussions, children will learn the meaning of kindness, respect, and inclusion. Understanding these critical social skills through such stories as Summer’s and explained by a caring adult can carry them forward into their adult life.
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