Book Review: Sorry!

Author: Trudy Ludwig
Illustrated by Maurie J Manning
Interest Level: Ages 7-11

From the Book Jacket: Jack's friend, Charlie, knows how to get away with just about everything: “If you get caught, just say you're sorry.” But does an apology count if you don't really mean it? And what happens when the person you've hurt knows you don't mean it? Jack's about to find out there's a whole lot more to a real apology than a simple “sorry!”

Trudy Ludwig's book captures the importance of making a sincere apology and models for children how to take ownership of hurtful behavior and make amends.

The Book Includes:
  • An afterword by renowned apology expert Dr. Aaron Lazare
  • A note from the author
  • Discussion questions
  • Dos and Don'ts of apologizing
Why It's On My Bookshelf:  This book is about learning to take ownership of one's actions and apologizing the right way, but also about trying to fit in. Kids are looking for acceptance and belonging. Sometimes they are willing to give up their values just to have a friend.  

Before I met Charlie, I was a nobody. 
Then I was a somebody. I was Charlie's friend.

Of course, Sorry! is a total hit with my students, all of Trudy's books are. I like the emotional response the student's have towards Charlie (the instigator). They get seriously irritated with his lack of remorse and empathy towards others. We discuss how Charlie's apologies feel like another put down. So I use their feelings as an opportunity to talk about how an apology is a 'gift' that you give someone. Modeling the 'gift' of an apology is SO very important. Just like math, reading, and writing - kids need to practice social skills as well. 

Introducing the concept of a follower gets a lot of light bulbs going off during discussion.  Sometimes I worry that too many kids are followers. And they are following the wrong peers. Jack wants a friend so badly. But at what personal cost?  As the story progresses, it is obvious that Jack does not agree with Charlie's behavior. Spend time talking about apologies when using this book, but also spend time talking about choosing friends. I hope you add Sorry! to your bookshelf soon.

Find more of Trudy's books at her website.

A Link to This Book and Others You Might Find Helpful:

1 comment

  1. Roxane this is such a great book. I think the art of apologizing is getting lost in our culture. It seems every time more we are looking for someone else to blame. The worst thing is that's what we are teaching our children! Awesome pick!