Abdul loves to tell stories. But writing them down is hard. His letters refuse to stay straight and face the right way. And despite all his attempts, his papers often wind up with more eraser smudges than actual words. Abdul decides his stories just aren’t meant to be written down…until a special visitor comes to class and shows Abdul that even the best writers—and superheroes—make mistakes.
From the Author: Story Behind the Story
Abdul is based on many young writers I’ve met as an English teacher and community educator who struggle with needing their writing to be perfect. I started writing his story after a child no older than seven told me “I can’t write like them. I can’t be a writer.” The them he was referring to were the other kids in the after-school writing workshop who didn’t seem to have the same problems with mechanics that he did. I remember feeling deeply troubled that a child that age could decide that it was impossible to be a writer. While I helped him to learn it was very possible for him to tell his story too, I realized many more kids needed that message too.
“There is no epiphany, no abrupt connection but instead loads of hard work and compassion, as well as patience. In the cheerful illustrations, the classroom is full of supporting characters of many backgrounds, but this is definitely Abdul’s story. VERDICT: A realistic look at what it takes to improve, this book will find a wide audience among other children who have struggled with words.” – School Library Journal, STARRED Review
“Exploring the topic of learning disabilities can be challenging, especially the social-emotional fallout for children who are struggling, but Thompkins-Bigelow accomplishes the task. Rose’s lively and colorful illustrations are eye-pleasing and showcase diversity. This is an engaging story that not only offers empowerment but also models understanding and acceptance of learning differences.” – The Horn Book
“This engrossing story has a compelling message for kids struggling with writing, as well as for all kids stuck in a “mistakes are bad” mindset. .” – STARRED Review, Booklist