As a fan of books written by Julia Cook, I was thrilled to receive a copy of her latest book, A Flicker of Hope. This story shows children that it is okay to ask for help while also encouraging them to be a hope builder for others. I want to share a few activities you can use with this story AND I’m going to give one lucky reader a copy of this book!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Throughout this post I have included links to several books. You can click on the book covers to learn more about them.
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About A Flicker of Hope
When your clouds get too dark,
and too heavy to push away,
Reach out and ask, “Can I borrow some light?
I’m having a really bad day.”
It’s always okay to admit to yourself,
“I just can’t do it today.”
Everyone needs somebody sometimes,
to help them find their way.
Sometimes the dark clouds overhead seem too heavy and you feel like giving up. Little candle knows all about this. Bad grades, blasted on social media, worried about making the team, and wondering who her real friends are—so many hard things to deal with! All she can see is darkness.
But her story begins to change when someone notices she needs a boost of hope. As little candle is reminded she has purpose and her own unique gifts, and that she isn’t the only one with dark clouds, her dim light begins to shine brighter.
A Flicker of Hope emphasizes for children (and adults) the many different ways to ask for help, and their ability to be a hope builder for others, too.
I love how Julia Cook is able to use a picture book to start a conversation between adults and children. This story provides the tools to know what to say and how to say it when students may find themselves standing under dark clouds. There are many kids out there whose light is starting to flicker because they are either scared to ask for help, or don’t know where to turn. As children get older, hope is needed to get through the challenges that life will throw at them. It won’t be an easy road, but with hope, children are more likely to succeed.
While the illustrations may appeal more to a younger crowd, your upper elementary students should connect to the content and examples included in the story. This book would be a great addition to your classroom library or home. I also encourage you to share this story with your school counselor so he or she can help give a boost of hope to a student in need.
A Flicker of Hope Activities
After reading the story, students can focus more on the message of the story using this graphic organizer. Students will identify their worries, people they turn to for help, what makes them unique and special, and how they can be a hope builder for others.
I have also included a few writing suggestions to build on the author’s message of hope. Students can respond to the text using this writing page.
You can download these FREE activities here.
ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF A Flicker of Hope
The National Center for Youth Issues has graciously allowed me to give a copy of this new book away to one of my readers. You can enter using the Rafflecopter below. You must be a resident of the United States to enter. The winner will be contacted after the contest ends via email. Would you like to double your chances of winning? I’ll be giving away a second copy of the book over on my Instagram account! Good Luck!
OTHER BOOKS YOU MIGHT ENJOY BY JULIA COOK
As I mentioned earlier, I am a BIG fan of books written by Julia Cook. Here are some of my favorite books she has written.
A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue
Josh the Tattler doesn’t have any friends. He tattles on his classmates, on his brother, and even on his dog! He tattles so much that he wakes up one night to find that his tongue is yellow, unusually long, and covered in bright purple spots! Will a bad case of Tattle Tongue teach him a lesson? You can find activities to use with this book here.
My Mouth is a Volcano
All of Louis thoughts are very important to him. In fact, his thoughts are so important to him that when he has something to say, his words begin to wiggle, and then they do the jiggle, then his tongue pushes all of his important words up against his teeth and he erupts, or interrupts others. His mouth is a volcano! You can find activities to use with this book here.
But It’s Not My Fault
This book follows Noodle through a very rough day at school. It just isn’t his fault that his brother’s game ran late and he didn’t finish his homework. Or that his mom forgot to remind him to turn in his library book. Or that Mary Gold got in his airspace and hit his arm with her head. You can follow Noodle on his journey as he learns not to blame others or try to find fault. Instead, he practices accepting responsibility, and turns his very rough day into a very good NEW day!
The Worst Day of My Life Ever
RJ has a rough day. He wakes up with gum stuck in his hair, misses recess because he’s late to school, earns a zero on his math homework and messes up Mom’s kitchen. With his mother’s help, RJ learns that his problems happen because he doesn’t listen or pay attention to directions. You can find activities to use with this book here.
Bubble Gum Brain
Meet Bubble Gum Brain and Brick Brain: two kids with two VERY different mindsets. Bubble Gum Brain likes to have fun adventures, learn new things, and doesn’t worry about making great mistakes. Brick Brain is convinced that things are just fine the way they are and there’s not much he can do to change them, so why try? When Bubble Gum Brain shows Brick Brain how to peel off his wrapper, Brick Brain begins to realize just how much more fun school…and life… can be!
Lying Up a Storm
Whenever Levi doesn’t like the truth, he kinda, sorta makes up other stuff to say. One day his mother explains to him that telling lies will damage the trust of his friends and make him very sad. “Whenever you tell a lie, your inside sun goes away. Then a lying cloud forms, and glooms up your day. Each time you tell a lie, another cloud starts to form, and before you can stop it from happening, your insides start to storm.” This book is a great resource to help children understand not only the consequences of telling a lie, but also how one lie can often lead to telling several more.
Do you have a favorite book written by Julia Cook? I’d love to know which one you love!