Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain

Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain


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No one ignores the grand vizier. The most important advisor in the royal court, he was considered the wisest man in the kingdom. He was also Samuel’s father. “Make sure Hamza never says a mean word to you again,” he had ordered Samuel.

What should Samuel do? He couldn’t disobey his father. But how would he make sure that Hamza never insulted him again? Perhaps train a monkey to hold Hamza’s lips closed, or give him some lemon juice to make his mouth pucker?

Inspired by a powerful legend of conflict resolution in Muslim Spain, Never Say a Mean Word Again is the compelling story of a boy who is given permission to punish an enemy. What will he do?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937786205
Publisher: Tradeselect
Publication date: 05/07/2014
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 400,853
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: AD480L (what's this?)
Age Range: 4 - 8 Years

About the Author

Jacqueline Jules is the author of over two dozen books for children including the award-winning Zapato Power series and Unite or Die: How Thirteen States Became a Nation. A former school librarian and teacher, Jacqueline enjoys visiting schools to share her passion for reading and writing. She is a word person, who loves rearranging words on the page, the same way people have fun fitting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together. She lives in Arlington, Va.

Durga Yael Bernhard was raised in New York’s Hudson Valley and began painting at the age of 13. Ms. Bernhard is the illustrator of numerous award-winning children’s books, including fiction and non-fiction, natural science titles and multicultural folktales. Ms. Bernhard is also a children’s teacher of Hebrew, Judaics, and illustration. She lives in the Catskill Mountains in New York.

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Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SheilaDeeth More than 1 year ago
A bright, inviting cover shows two middle-Eastern buys stubbornly facing away from each other. But something in the body language invites young readers to believe these two might become friends. And so begins Jacqueline Jules’ wise story, based on a Jewish tale from Medieval Spain. Illustrations by Durga Yael Bernhard match the story perfectly, blending simple images, beautiful designs, and wonderful facial expressions to carry children from page to page. When a distracted young Samuel bumps into the tax collector’s son, Hamza responds with an insult. So, does an accident give one boy a right to call another one names? The vizier doesn’t think so, but, rather than punishing Hamza, he simply tells Samuel to make sure the other boy never says a mean word to him again. How can Samuel do this? Young readers will be amused at Samuel’s ideas, while their parents take delight in a friendship born of youthful enthusiasm. The result is a short story with a great lesson, much to smile about, and plenty to keep both adults and children amused as they read together. A final author’s note provides background for the tale, adding depth and relevance for the present day. If only more of us could learn this pleasing way to make sure no mean words are repeated. Artistically, linguistically, and culturally inviting, this is a book that anyone should delight to share with children. It teaches friendship, wisdom, and a fine no-bullying approach—highly recommended. Disclosure: I was given a free copy by the publisher and I offer my honest review.
BarbaraLyn More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful little book on how to get along with someone who calls you names. The book is about two boys of different faiths but it could be about two boys who just don’t see eye to eye. The same principles would apply. The book shows ways to use kindness to get along with another person. Establishing a friendship changes how the other person looks at things. For example, in the book the boy that was called names went to the bully’s house with paper and pen to get the bully to write an apology. But when the bully saw these things, he thought the boy had brought drawing tools. The point is everyone sees things differently and we just have to figure out how they see things and turn them in our favor. If your children are having trouble with other children, this book could give them some ideas on how to stop the bullying.