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Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself Hardcover – October 13, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375840575
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375840579
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.6 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #775,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—In a departure from their usual works, the Spinellis turn their skills to inspiring readers with quotes and promises for every day of the year. There is a single-page entry for each day, and each one begins with a quote from children's literature. For example, the quote for November 4 is, "When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in," from Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth. A quote for December 5 is from Dr. Seuss's The Lorax: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better." Anne Frank's birthday on June 12 is commemorated with a quote from The Diary of a Young Girl: "In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart." Each quote is followed by an explanatory note. Each note is then summarized into a short promise on which readers can reflect. For example, The Lorax entry tells readers to find one thing they care about and ask how they can make it better. The book covers a vast array of topics and themes, from serious to silly, and is inspiring and helpful. This is a book that that kids can dip into throughout the year.—Kristen Oravec, Flint Hill Middle School, Oakton, VA END

From Booklist

The popular husband-and-wife authors join together in this new direction for both: an advice book. Arranged in a chronological format, with one page dedicated to each day of the year, the book features three sections in each daily entry: a quotation from a children’s book, a short passage of advice, and an affirmation. March 29, for example, features a quote from Paula Fox’s novel Western Wind (1993): “You can’t take words back . . . They sit there like big damp frogs.” The following advice speaks about regret for something that was said, and the closing affirmation is, “Today if I feel myself about to release a word I’ll regret, I’ll bite my frog.” Subjects cover a broad range of topics, including contacting grandparents, buckling seatbelts, resisting peer pressures, and turning off the TV. Readers can dip in at random and read a page per day or as many as they choose. The advice, while often humorous, is practical and age appropriate. Young book lovers will delight in the quotations (as will teachers and librarians), and fans of the Chicken Soup series will eat up this appealing offering. Grades 5-8. --Lynn Rutan

More About the Author

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marguarite Moore on November 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These quotes and quips are just the kind of things I want my middle school students to be thinking about. I love using them as writing prompts. The collection is the perfect combination of wit and wisdom.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica K. Olds on September 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We checked this book out from our library a few weeks ago and have used it every day. There are ideas and inspirational quotes/book passages each day and it has made our days more interesting. I like to make my kids think about how they go through life interacting with others and how they treat themselves and this book is awesome for just that. Can't wait to get our own copy!
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Format: Hardcover
Daily inspirational books take many forms. You’ve seen the page-a-day calendar offerings at bookstores during the holiday season. You’ve seen all manner of religious devotionals specialized for people from all ages and walks of life. Even my yoga teacher reads daily from Meditations from the Mat. But this book, geared for children, is just a little different.

A secular, personal development book written for children by two of juvenile fiction’s biggest names, Eileen and Jerry Spinelli, this book seems to be geared towards the 8-12 set, but it definitely has the flexibility to provide for younger kids, especially if a family project is made of it. As a homeschooling mom, I could see incorporating this into our lessons, and it would take no more than 10 or 15 added minutes to one’s day, which is a small price to pay for character building and family time.

Each daily entry begins with a quote. Today (August 21) it is “Every painting is a magic window that your own imagination can open and climb through.” It is from a book called A Quiet Place by Douglas Wood. After an appropriate quote, there is a short, 3-5 sentence blurb on the quote and it’s meaning. All of this is followed by a one or two line goal statement for the day: something to keep in mind, or a small project to do (one of the days was to go owling, another was to visit a library or bookstore). I see this book as a springboard for family discussion, not something to just tuck into a birthday present and tell the child, “well, here you go!”, because some of the blurbs are just simply too brief for the heaviness and complexity of the topic (internet safety, cigarette smoking, etc.)

I like about 90% of the entries. Some of them I feel bordered a bit on preachiness of personal habits.
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By okerry on January 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this to use with my 5 year old and realize now it's more likely to be used with a tween on their own. So instead, I'm just reading it with her every night before she goes to bed and then we talk about what we can do or what we can think about or focus on for the next day. Tonight's reading was about "being hungry" and realizing there are a lot of hungry people in this world and what can she do to help or make a difference. Her answer was "give them milk and cookies". Soooo, now I have to figure out how to accomplish that one tomorrow.
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