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Those Shoes Paperback – June 9, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; Reprint edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763642843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763642846
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 9.7 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A poignant, thought-provoking book." -- -------- School Library Journal 12/01/2007

"Whether children are on the shoe-owning or the shoe-envying side of the economic line, they can sympathize with Jeremy and rejoice in the way he eventually resolves his problem with his too-small shoes." -- -------- Horn Book, The 11/01/2007

Blue Ribbon Award, 2007 -- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books,

Charlotte Zolotow Award, Highly Commended Book for 2007 -- Cooperative Children's Book Center

"Boelts blends themes of teasing, embarrassment and disappointment with kindness and generosity in a realistic interracial school scenario." -- Kirkus Reviews 09/15/2007

"Jones' autumn-toned illustrations wonderfully complement Boelts' sweet-natured main characters and non-didactic life lesson." -- Booklist 11/01/2007

December 2007 (circ. 3,000): "In this witty, wise picture book Boelts presents a kids-eye view of a consumer fad that rages through school at gale force." -------- -- -------- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review, The 12/05/2007 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Maribeth Boelts is a former preschool teacher who has written numerous books for children. She lives in Iowa with her husband and three children.


More About the Author

Maribeth Boelts lives in Iowa with her family and has been writing for children for almost 20 years. Her most recent titles, "Those Shoes" and "Before You Were Mine" have won a number of awards. Her picture book, "Happy Like Soccer" was published May, 2012, and another picture book is forthcoming from Candlewick Press. A former teacher, Maribeth enjoys meeting and encouraging kids to read and write. "It is, in equal parts, an enthralling and confusing quest trying to crack the code on what makes a child pull a book off the shelf and continue turning the page. Figuring out what makes that same child laugh, feel understood or inspired is what keeps this career so interesting. I am grateful for every reader."

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
I highly recommend it for all elementary school age children.
Laurie Collins
I am a 2nd grade teacher and I read this story to my 2nd graders every year and it's always their favorite (and mine)!
This book is great for teaching the lesson of the difference between needs and wants.
Dianne_Avid Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Laurie Collins on January 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Everyone at school has a certain pair of shoes (Chuck Taylor style hi-cut sneakers) and Jeremy wants them too. He just can't afford them. His sneakers fall apart and he has to go to the guidance counselor's office to pick new ones from a bin - embarrassing and disappointing. He finds a pair of the coveted shoes at a thrift store and buys them although they are really too small for him and they blister his feet. After a short while he gives them to another boy in his class (whose soles of his shoes are taped together) who truly fits into them.

Empathy is the big word here. Some lucky children may not understand about the scene in the guidance counselor's office. Someone can't afford shoes? Other children will come to understand that they ar not alone in their needs.

This is a book about sharing that reaches out especially to boys! Kicks are important to them.

Everyone I have shared this book with has been touched by it. I highly recommend it for all elementary school age children.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By K. Feick on December 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have 4 kids. The oldest three boys are 9, 6, and 4. I read this to them last night and I was really moved. We discussed the book and they really heard the message that you can't always get everything you want and that there is a very big difference between a want and a need. Being so close to Christmas it was a great conversation opener about what they want for Christmas and what they can reasonably expect. We also discussed and shared times when other people had what we wanted, times when we were envious, and also how much better it feels to be generous and kind! I struggle all the time as a parent to impress upon my children these very ideas and this book brought it home so easily! READ THIS BOOK! Also, I love how the boy lives with his grandmother but it not overemphasized and there is no discussion on why his family consists of just him and her. That is just how real life is sometimes and I appreciate that realistic fact being inserted!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on October 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Just about every boy at school seemed to be wearing those black high-tops with two white stripes, and Jeremy wanted a pair also. Unfortunately Grandma remained firm about only paying for needs, not wants, and Jeremy needed a new pair of winter boots. To add insult to injury, when one of Jeremy's shoes fell apart at school, the only replacement available from the guidance counselor's supply box was a pair of children's Velcro sneakers with a cartoon animal on the side. Even Jeremy's idea of buying his dream high-tops at a local thrift shop backfired when the one pair in stock fit so poorly that they hurt his feet. Little did Jeremy realize that those thrift-store high-tops held the key to a deeper understanding of generosity and friendship.

This clever book contains a powerful lesson about differentiating between wants and needs in the face of tight budget constraints. At the same time, the subtle text and expressive illustrations communicate clearly a child's desire to conform. At a time when expensive shoes have become a high-status consumption good, Those Shoes comes out a winner for telling an appealing story to which readers across age groups can relate.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Books That Heal Kids on June 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of my top 10 favorite books of the school year. It will be a staple in my school counseling curriculum. It's really rare to find such a profound read about the spirit of giving. We have a generation of kids that sometimes seems more concerned about the latest IPhone, the latest fashion trend, or how many facebook friends they have rather than things that have true value like family or friends. Reading Those Shoes got kids thinking about this. We had a thought provoking conversation about listening to our heart - even when we don't want to....translation - Do The Right Thing! I wanted the kids to understand when we do something kind for another person - sometimes the reward is just feeling joy. Wow, did they hear this loud and clear through the story. The most satisfying thing Jeremey did was for someone else, not for himself. Another big teaching moment - wants vs. needs. We made a whole T chart list of how these two things are different and how it can impact who we truly want to grow up to be. Society is pushing so many material things on kids it's easy and tempting to lose your way and get sucked into the external satisfactions of life. Gratitude. Thank goodness for grandmas! She had a perfect little role in the story. Students acknowledged how adults have 'experience' that kids do not yet have. Most times, adults really do know best! Listening to our hearts and doing the right thing is SO important, lets remind children early on before the walls go up and the earphones go on. I don't want kids plugging into IPods - I want them to plug into us.

I read Those Shoes to all of the K-3 grades. One of our teachers decided to do a language arts lesson after listening to my lesson. It's good stuff. Students need more literature like this that pushes such an overwhelming message of kindness and generosity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DAC VINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved this picture book. Jeremy wants a pair of Black high tops, with two white stripes that all the kids are wearing. His grandmother says there is no room for want just need. Jeremy must watch as all the other kids come in wearing the coveted shoes. When his shoe comes apart in kickball, the guidance counselor gives him a new pair.

"Looks like you could use a new pair, Jeremy, "Mr. Alfrey the guidance counselor, says. He brings out a box of shoes and other stuff he has for kids who need things. He helps me find the only shoes that are m y size - Velcro- like the ones my little cousin Marshall wears. They have an animal on them from a cartoon I don't think any kid ever watched."

When Jeremy returns to class, all the kids laugh at him except for a boy named Antonio. Jermey goes shoes shopping with his grandmother.

"At the shoe store, Grandma turns those shoes over so she can check the price. When she sees it, she sits down heavy. "Maybe they wrote it down wrong," I say. Grandma shakes her head."

After that the two hit thift stores. After some searching they find a pair of those shoes for $2.50. Jermey buys the shoes even though they are too small. At school Jermey continues to wear is no name shoes, while those too small shoes sit in his room In math class Jermey notices that Antonio's feet are smaller than his and one of his shoes is taped up. When the two play basketball, Jermey's mind and eyes stay on that bit of tape keeping Antonio's shoe together. That night Jermey decides to give Anotonio the coveted shoes.

I love how this story unfolded. Sometimes I find picture with grade school students have missed the mark. The text and illustrations fighting each other for a different audience. This was not the case with Those Shoes.
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