School Is Wherever I Am

Roaring Brook. May 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250845245.
K-Gr 2–In this quiet, message-driven story, young readers are reminded that learning can happen outside of the classroom. As a young boy considers all the reasons he loves school, he wonders where else learning might take place. Could school be in the visit to the zoo or at the aquarium with his classmates, or in the kitchen making pot stickers with his grandma? Does school have to be in a school building with other students, or could it also be alone at home or on the computer screen? Could school even be in the times when a problem needs to be solved and an apology needs to be made? Following the narrator through his day, young readers will see many ways they can continue learning outside of school. With only one sentence per page, the brightly colored cartoon illustrations do the majority of the storytelling. These generally cheerful scenes help maintain a lighter tone, even while discussing a serious, even provocative topic. Of special importance is the author’s inclusion of online learning and at-home learning. Some of the more abstract examples, such as school being “in things I’ve broken,” may require a bit of discussion with children. This book is an solid starting point for a conversation on the importance of learning, curiosity, and actively taking part in the world at all times.
VERDICT An excellent purchase for school libraries and public libraries with a big homeschooling community; a title to promote to teachers at the beginning of the school year.

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