12. Families are Different by Nina Pellegrini
Retell: Nico is an adopted girl from Korea who begins to feel different from her friends because she doesn’t resemble her parents. After closer observation, Nico realizes that there are many different types of families.
Topics: adoption, divorce, families
Units of Study: memoir, personal narrative, social issues
Tribes: appreciations/no putdowns (appreciating our loved ones), mutual respect
Reading Skills: making connections
Writing Skills: developing the heart of a story
My Thoughts: Do not expect subtlety when reading this book. The title hits you over the head with the book’s message. I can’t imagine using this book for higher level reading work. However, I think it could be a good mentor text when teaching writers to revise by developing the heart of a story. Families are Different is written in a style similar to some of the notebook entries my students tend to write: “Hello, my name is______. I live in ______. I’m going to tell you all about my friends.” Halfway through the story, however the narrator begins to reveal some of her thoughts and emotions about being adopted. I can see reading this story and asking students to identify when the author started getting to the heart of the story. I would also read this during a community circle to encourage discussion about respecting differences.
Entry filed under: Female Authors, Picture Books. Tags: adoption, appreciations/no put-downs, developing the heart of a story, differences, divorce, family, making connections, memoir, mutual respect, personal narrative, social issues, writers notebook.