ML’s best friend moved a little over a year ago. It was hard for ML. There have been times when she was in tears over various things this past year. The only thing she wanted was to talk to SJ. Some were friendship issues. Some were when she was mad at me. One was when her hand was pouring blood from squeezing a wine glass. That’s a blog post in itself.
ML and SJ became friends without parent involvement. Which is unusual for 5-year-olds. They met at Y Camp the summer before kindergarten. SJ’s mom says it best; “People search their whole lives for the kind of friendship ML and SJ have.”
We’ve worked hard to make certain the girls see each other every few months. Tomorrow, we’ll drive four hours to spend Labor Day Weekend celebrating SJ’s birthday. I’m fully prepared to hear “Are we there yet? How much longer?” every five minutes. I’m excited as ML because SJ and her family are like family to us.
Last fall, we picked up SJ on our way to a wedding in Georgia. I wish I had a video of their hug when they first saw each other after almost two months apart. In January SJ, her mom and brother came for the Woman’s March. They came up for a portion of spring break too. (Note to self. Check to see if they have the same spring break this year). Then, SJ came for a week this summer. ML and SJ met at a YMCA Day Camp the summer before elementary school; so they spent their days at the camp. At night, I enjoyed watching these two make slime, eat at Moes, and the one that made me smile the most… lying on the bed reading books before lights out.
At the beginning of last year, ML put in words how hard it was at school without SJ. “SJ’s the one who helps bring people together. When people are mad or disagreeing, she helps find a solution.” To celebrate this amazing girl, who should be president… and very well may be one day. I’ve put together a list of 11 books for her to read this year. It’s based on books I know she loved, her interests and to grow her already compassionate self to see a variety of viewpoints. This might seem like a lot of books to “assign” I feel confident several of these books she will read in one night. I’ve purposely included a variety of genres and writing styles. I’ve read all but one. I’ll write a post soon about the one I’ve yet to read; but I already know it’s a winner. I’m not going to quiz SJ on these books next year; but I do hope she gives each book at least 30 pages. In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about her Birthday Book List for when she starts middle school next year.
Bubble by Stewart Foster
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
George by Alex Gino
It Ain’t So Awful, Falafal by
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
March, Book 1 by John Lewis with Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
Moo by Sharon Creech
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Summerlost by Ally Condie
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitgerald
And one to grow on; because not only did SJ meet Cassie Beasely when she came to our local bookstore to promote Circus Mirandus, she and her mom read it aloud and loved it.
Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasely