Book Review: “Awfulizer”

“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”- Brene Brown

BOOK REVIEW: “The Awfulizer: Learning To Overcome The Shame Game” by Kristin Maher really embodies this powerful message from Brene Brown. Our students will make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they are a mistake.

James learns this lesson when his negative thoughts appear in the form of the Awfulizer. Though he tries to ignore it and avoid people, his invisible monster just gets bigger. Finally, he finds the courage to share what he’s been feeling and learns (as we all do) that he is not alone.

His mom shares some helpful tips on overcoming the Shame Game:

1) Tell others how you are feeling

2) Remind yourself how awesome you are

While some of the language might be a little figurative for some students (ex. “the shame game is for the birds), I think a lot of elementary school students will connect with this book. It takes the large concept of shame and turns into something a little more tangible.

Doing a small group on self-esteem? This book would be perfect to add to the mix to create a sense of belonging. After reading ask your students to draw their own Awfulizer!

This book is a great starting point for your classroom discussion on mistakes, shame, empathy, and not keeping your feelings bottled inside.

Congrats to @kristinmaher and @nationalcenterforyouthissues for another successful book! Grab your copy of the book and the resource bundle at: https://ncyi.org/National Center for Youth Issues


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