This book was my attempt to help children deal with the events of 9/11. The fairy-tale format makes it easier for kids to distance themselves from the grim reality, and gives an entry point for discussion that feels safe.
Teacher Jodi Laframboise of Valley View Middle School likes to use picture books as a starting point for making connections to a text. She read Bravemole to her seventh graders as a remembrance for 9/11, and threw out her lesson plan for the day when the students reacted with silence, reflection, and discussion that filled the whole hour.
I was invited to visit and, after my talk, the students took paper, divided it into four equal rectangles, and began to draw what had most affected them. In one quadrant they drew the setting, in a second the characters. In a third they drew a representation of connection they had made with the story—through allegory, emotion, subtext, relation to present-day issues, etc. And in the last quadrant they wrote a short opinion, telling whether or not the author's intended theme was successful at making a connection with the targeted reader.
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