4 out of 4 stars
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Like so many other children, Chase is having a tough time adjusting to the “new normal,” and he is falling behind in his schoolwork. In Chase Found Grit by Jeanne Evelyn, we discover how this resilient young man faces adversity. The story begins with Chase waiting for his web page to load. He starts to reminisce about the days before the pandemic. He misses his friends. He misses showing off his new sneakers. He misses the gym. He can’t believe it, but he even misses going to school! When he logs into his online classroom, his teachers remind him that he has an essay due. His caring educators realize that Chase needs encouragement. So, they let him vent his frustration. Then they come up with a plan to help Chase find the grit to succeed in these difficult times.
The bright and cheerful cartoon image on the cover shows Chase typing on his laptop. I like the fact that the picture consists of two contrasting colors, such as blue and yellow. The book is filled with many more illustrations by Vidya Vasudevan. The text is clear and written in rhyming verses that children can easily remember. There are some challenging vocabulary words that parents can help with. Some words are highlighted in bold, vibrant colors for emphasis. The overarching message is “overcoming difficulties by asking for help when you need it.” I did not find any errors or offensive content in this story.
There is so much to like about this book! The story hits home and perfectly portrays the problems that have arisen since the lockdowns began. Millions of families around the world can relate to Chase’s struggles. The child is bored from staring at his computer screen all day, and he finds it hard to focus with this new way of learning. Beyond virtual classes, social distancing, and other pandemic precautions, Chase’s family also face financial struggles because his mother lost her job. The inclusion of these events makes the story relatable and realistic. In addition to the plot, I like the fact that each page has a different background color because this feature can draw and keep a child’s attention. The text also provides an opportunity for children to learn more advanced vocabulary words.
There is absolutely nothing to dislike about this fabulous publication! In addition to the relevant subject matter and excellent writing, I really empathized with the characters. Chase is an average kid who needs motivation to get his schoolwork done. His mother is a typical adult with real problems to deal with. But my favorite character of all is Ms. Serrano. She is so perceptive that she realizes Chase is having issues with his assignment. She senses that he isn’t just being lazy, and she lovingly assists him by getting to the root of the problem.
Chase Found Grit by Jeanne Evelyn has earned a perfect rating of four out of four stars. This book is exactly what we need to read during these unprecedented times. So, I enthusiastically recommend it to elementary students, parents, and teachers everywhere. Even adults who don’t have children can find some valuable insights and encouragement in this story.
Chase Found Grit
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