Emma’s Dilemma provides a simple story for ages 3-9, telling of a young school girl's dilemma over a school-assigned family tree project.
As she contemplates some fantastic solutions to her problem, Emma begins to get a real sense of what the project is actually all about - and an idea of how to handle it by applying some, simple out-of-the-box thinking.
A semi-rhyme structure juxtaposes colorful drawings with pages containing no words, breaking up the usual picture (or early chapter) book structure. Young readers receive all the possibilities in Emma's mind, from monkeys and spaceships to royalty: but no matter how much she muses, she still faces a predicament.
The answer to her problems lies not in a fertile imagination alone; but in the application of healthy dose of reality: a process that will delight young readers with good fantasy but, in the end, brings it all home - including vocabulary material, discussion questions, a Chinese symbolism game, and more.
-D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
“Emma’s Dilemma is a book about a little girl who is asked to do a project about her family tree. The problem is, Emma is adopted and doesn’t know what to write about her family tree. The book does a wonderful job of showing how Emma works through this problem with her family and helps bring light to issues that children who are adopted can face. Ms. McCluskey-Shipman does a great job of writing with compassion. This book is great for families to read and discuss together. Emma’s Dilemma is a must have for teachers, administrators, or any families that are fortunate enough to have an adopted child. Ms. Mc-Cluskey- Shipman does a great job of bringing up a delicate issue.”
- Kathy Mason, Curriculum Coach, Shawnee Mission School District
Emma’s Dilemma is a book for elementary children who feel they don’t fit in. Emma felt she was different from her peers and didn’t fully understand this emotion. The book is well written and has great illustrations for helping visual learners understand Emma’s dilemma.
The psychological need to listen and share is an important component of the book. Emma looks at fantasy, real life situations, and guidance from her family to find solutions for her dilemma. Vocabulary materials, discussion questions, and games provide readers the opportunity to explore different options. In the end, Emma has a better understanding of her family tree, her family and children who are adopted.
- Charles Jackard, ED.D. Educational Consultant