Author: Nancy Carlson
Illustrator: Nancy Carlson
Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing
Publication Date: April, 2013
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Picture Book
GoodReads Summary: Eight-year-old Sam is always daydreaming about exploring space and the deepest seas, which is awesome—except when he’s supposed to be focusing on schoolwork or stuff at home. It seems like all he hears is, “Focus, Sam!” and “Pay attention!” The doctor says Sam is lucky: He has a very powerful brain! But he does need some help focusing. She gives Sam and his dad lots of strategies to try, like staying organized, eating better food, and asking for help when he needs it. Sam’s favorite strategy? Make time for imagination! A note to adults gives extra tips for helping kids with attention struggles.
What I Think: I often think about what expectations we have of kids and what adults ask kids to do. Sometimes, things that seem simple to us just aren't easy for kids. I also think that sometimes we ask kids to follow rules or act "appropriately" and we stifle their curiosity. I really enjoyed how Nancy Carlson helps adults and kids think about what it might be like for a kiddo who has a great imagination and gets distracted whether at home or at school. The author shares how Sam is feeling and gives words for readers to use if they are feeling the same way. Then the book continues to give ideas for how to be able to concentrate more and to get things accomplished without resorting to medication. I love this message. This is a great book for helping a child cope with and understand how to think about distractibility.
Read Together: Grades K - 3
Read Alone: Grades 1 - 3
Read With: Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom (and others) by Eric Wight
Snatch of Text:
"People were always telling Sam to focus. When they did, he felt...
and dumb."Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections
Writing Strategies to Practice: Personal Narrative
Writing Prompts: Write about a time when you were distracted, Sam was distracted a lot, but maybe you can write about one time when you were distracted and think about how Sam might feel.
Topics Covered: Concentration, Family, Determination, Hard work, Feelings, Integration - Science