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Book details
  • SubGenre:Social Issues / Friendship
  • Language:English
  • Pages:42
  • Format:Hardcover
  • Hardcover ISBN:9781667848075

The Cardboard Castle

by Beth Schulman View author's profile page

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This heartfelt story takes place in a fifth grade classroom at Washington Elementary, an urban public school. Stella, a quiet outsider has been alienated by her peers since kindergarten. All they see is a dirty girl with knotted hair and worn out clothes. When her fifth grade teacher gives the students an opportunity to participate in a creative project, Stella is finally able to show that she's so much more than her appearance. This multicultural story will inspire deep conversations about the perils of judging others. Young readers will learn the magic that comes from allowing ourselves to see someone in a new light.
Based on a true story, The Cardboard Castle captures the transformative power that results when one teacher encourages his students to think outside the box. Mr. Govern is a favorite fifth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary school, an urban school with concrete walls and bars on the window. When Mr. Govern challenges his students to re-imagine the regular, into something unique and unusual his classroom buzzes with excitement. All the students work enthusiastically with partners on their creations. One student remains quiet and alone---"Stinky Stella." Stella has been an outsider since kindergarten. Her classmates have always viewed her as the dirty girl with knotted hair and worn out clothes who lives on the wrong side of town. What her peers don't realize is that Stella has an inner beauty and special talent patiently waiting to be discovered. In this heartwarming story, readers will be cheering for Stella and celebrating the gifts that lie buried within each of us.
About the author
Beth Schulman has devoted her life's work to creating supportive, literacy rich learning environments for her young students. She teaches from the heart and believes every classroom should be a place where students feel respected and celebrated. She lives and teaches in the Philadelphia area. Schulman has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She has worked with professional teachers through The Penn Literacy Network at The University of Pennsylvania as a literacy coach and instructor since 1997. In addition, Schulman has been an adjunct professor of Child Development and Language Arts Instruction in the Master's of Education Department at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Schulman is the author of the children's book Rosie, The Practically Perfect Puppy (2017) inspired by her dog and two sons and The Gold Mailbox, a memoir (2016). Her own personal story is reflected in The Cardboard Castle. In her memoir, Schulman writes, "We're all shaped by our experiences. I wouldn't be the person I am today without having lived through the trauma of my childhood. It wasn't easy and there have been many hurdles along the way. But my past has brought me to the place I am today, a place of compassion, love and deep gratitude." Schulman hopes The Cardboard Castle inspires that same compassion, love and deep gratitude in her young readers.
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