The Day You Begin

The Day You Begin

eBook - 2018
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Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.
(This book is also available in Spanish, as El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres!)
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group


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Jul 24, 2020

Different kids feel like outcasts or excluded but realize they have other kids with aspects in common, ex a kid from Venezuela realized actually has something in common with another girl who feels outcast

Read this one for the 2020 Reading Women Challenge (read a picture book written/illustrated by a BIPOC author)

LPL_MattL Aug 20, 2019

The Day You Begin is a back-to-school story that highlights the initial discomfort of being the new kid in unfamiliar classroom. Rafael Lopez's vibrant and imaginative art pairs wonderfully author Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical prose to create a book with a heartfelt message that celebrates differences and the importance letting others into your world.

JCLBeckyC Apr 13, 2019

This is a great picture book for younger elementary-aged kids who are experiencing a tough transition, such as being the new kid in town. Lovely illustrations. Necessary message. We are more alike than we realize until we open ourselves up to others.

OLATHEAllisonA Mar 28, 2019

There is something for everyone in this book, because every child is bound to feel "different" at some point in their lives. Woodson's prose is gentle yet wrought with emotion as she examines various external and internal reasons that a child may feel alone and outside of the group. She tells the reader that commonalities can be found among people who seem to have nothing in common, while the beautiful art by Lopez emphasizes the beauty of differences unified by the common experience of humanity. A lovely read!

VaughanPLDianeB Mar 19, 2019

A lovely book about acceptance (self and peer) in the context of school, though it could be generalized to anywhere you are the 'new' person. Beautifully illustrated and explained by author Jacqueline Woodson, this title is a good read aloud for the 1st week or month of school. It would also be a good complement to the book 'I Am Enough' by Grace Byers.

TSCPL_ScarlettFH Jan 18, 2019

Beautiful, sad, hopeful: 3 words that come to mind with this picture book. Children will relate to the first person narrative, the classroom setting, and expressive illustrations. Adults will relate to their own experiences either as an outsider kid or remembering the kid that was in their elementary school days. As an adult reader, I had a moment of tears reading this beautiful book. It presents a powerful message about the importance of valuing each person's perspective on life and being kind, especially to people who need an extra boost of kindness.

IndyPL_KatieB Jan 16, 2019

A beautifully illustrated book that combines the talents of award winner Jacqueline Woodson and illustrator Rafeal Lopez. This book speaks about how you might feel like you are the only one in a room who looks a certain way or eats a certain thing. Eventually, by telling your story and sharing your life, you might find someone who is secretly like you. A great read for both individuals and groups.

Nov 30, 2018

The Day You Begin is so incredibly beautiful. It took me some time to actually finish that first read-through, just savoring the words and pictures.

The Poet she is, Jacqueline Woodson’s latest picture book could withstand a lesser illustrator. Conversely, you could read The Day You Begin without reading a word. Together Woodson and Lopez craft a powerful narrative.

The message is one that emerges from an empathetic voice. You may feel the difference, and you may not feel ready to embrace your difference by putting your name to it, to claim it out loud, but a time will come when you are ready and you’ll find that "all at once, in the room where no one else is quite like you, / the world opens itself up a little wider / to make some space for you."

The Day You Begin tackles uncertainty by being certain about how beautiful and capable each child is. That each voice, each story (told in so many ways) is precious. As with Angelina, it took time, “your voice / stronger than it was a minute ago,” but once you see what happens…

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 23, 2018

A thoughtful, lovely picture book about the awkwardness of being the one who is “different” in a school class and how you get past it. Jacqueline Woodson is a four-time Honor Book winner for the Newbery Award for best children’s book, and I personally think she is the most accomplished author never to win the actual award.

I will just quote the first two lines. “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you. Maybe it will be your skin, your clothes, or the curl of your hair.”

After that first sentence, my 8-year-old granddaughter said, “Just like me.” Anyone can relate to that feeling. It’s a fine book, well-written to be read aloud to individual children or groups.

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JCLBeckyC Apr 13, 2019

"There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you until the day you begin to share your stories."

Nov 30, 2018

All that stands beside you is
your own brave self—
steady as steel and ready
even though you don’t yet know
what you’re ready for.

ArapahoeErinR Sep 26, 2018

And all at once, in the room where no one else is quite like you, the world opens itself up a little wider to make some space for you.

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