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Used: Good | Details
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Good copy with moderate cover and page wear from being handled and read. Accessories or dust jacket may be missing. Could be an ex-library copy that will have all the stickers and or marking of the library. Some textual or margin notes possible, and or contain highlighting.
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So What? Paperback – March 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

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Jim is upset because he can't hang upside down on the jungle gym without holding on. Everyone else can. He is also shorter than his classmates and no one wants to join his club. Elinor Woodman, the new girl from Chicago, says, "So what?" Jim is mad at Elinor and wishes he were more like everyone else. Will he find that Elinor was right after all? --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 29 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling - Dell (March 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440400481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440400486
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,028,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Stoogenke on October 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
I think this book is about average as a story. However, my daughter's kindergarten teacher recommended this to us because she thought my daughter was "taking things too hard" when interacting with other kids. The message of the book is that you can choose to take things hard or just say (inside your head) "so what" when kids do things that hurt your feelings. For an overly sensitive kid this is a freeing message. I read this with my daughter and she got it right away. She started coming home with stories about how she said "so what" when kids said things that hurt her at school. She started out saying it outloud to the other kids and we had to discuss how this can provoke more teasing or conflict. Now she knows to say it to herself. Obviously, this strategy is not for every situation and we discussed when it is best used and when to talk things over with us or take other actions. Overall, it was a very helpful change and she is happier for it. What better recommendation can a book get?
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Format: Paperback
ISBN 0440400481 - Dell Young Yearling books are, generally, a series I enjoy. The books tend to use age appropriate language for 5 to 8 year olds and include simple lessons for children. This book, however, doesn't do it for me.

Jim isn't able to do a lot of things. He can't hang by his knees on the jungle gym without using his hands, he can't start a club without everyone quitting, he can't dance... and he's not on the top 3 list of the most popular kids in school. While he struggles with his mediocrity, a new girl named Elinor Woodman, from Chicago, Illinois, seems to shrug things off with ease. Every time she's confronted with Jim's concerns about his inferiority, she says "so what?" By the time Jim finally learns this lesson for himself, Elinor has moved back to Chicago, but she's left behind something of great value to Jim.

I know that there's a good lesson here. I just don't think the book does a good job of explaining that lesson. Author Miriam Cohen's story feels very disjointed. Jim observes various things that his classmates do and say and then decides to start a club - that feels very random. And little kids are random, sometimes, but their books shouldn't be. When the class is measured, Cohen lists each child and their height, down to the quarter inch. If this was one of the books that centered on math, it would make sense; here it just makes awkward reading. "Paul was 3 feet 11 inches. Willy was 3 feet 10 inches. Sammy was 3 feet 9 3/4 inches. Danny was..." Seriously. Last, the periodic "so what?" is clearly supposed to be the lesson: don't let it get to you. Instead, it makes Elinor appear to be saying "who cares?" when Jim feels down.

The illustrations, by Lillian Hoban, are nice.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Miriam Cohen really does a wonderful job with her books! This one is no exception to that rule! As a first grade teacher I would say she hit the nail on the head here! It teaches a valuable lesson in a gentle, easy to understand way! It presents many opportunities throughout to focus on some of the difficulties associated with being a new first grader! It also is a great lead-in to a beginning of the year unit on the celebration of being me! It shares the importance of being unique and free!
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