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Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond…
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Desmond and the Very Mean Word

by Desmond Tutu, Douglas Carlson Abrams

Other authors: A. G. Ford (Illustrator)

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
In this book, a young boy named Desmond from South Africa is growing up in a time when people thought less of people with dark skin. One day, a boy with red hair calls him a very mean word and Desmond is hurt by this. He meets with one of his teachers, Father Trevor, who asks Desmond what he wants to do about the way he feels. Desmond says he wants to get back at the red haired boy. Father Trevor explains that revenge may feel good at first, but it makes you feel even worse after awhile. Desmond calls the red haired boy a mean word anyway, and realizes that Father Trevor was right. Father Trevor explains that the only way to feel better is by forgiving the red haired boy, even though he never apologized. Over the next few days, Desmond sees the red haired boy getting bullied by his older brother and feels bad for him. He decides to apologize for calling him a mean word, and forgive him for doing it first. The book ends with the red haired boy sharing a piece of candy with Desmond, as a symbol of peace.

The central message of this book is that forgiveness is more satisfying than revenge. When Desmond retaliated against the red haired boy, he felt worse about himself than before. The author writes that Desmond had a bitter taste in his mouth from the mean word he had said. But when he forgave the red haired boy for calling him the mean word, even though the red haired boy couldn't find the words to apologize, Desmond felt strong, happy, and free. The red haired boy gave him a piece a candy, since he had forgiven him, so Desmond tasted the sweet taste of forgiveness and freedom after doing the right thing. ( )
  LaurenCompton | Mar 31, 2018 |
This is such a great book on forgiveness. Showing forgiveness not only brings you peace, but it also makes the person that hurt you seem like it didn't bother you so much. This book teaches kids how to show forgiveness and even adults when they are reading it. A great read to show kids! ( )
  mp1139 | Feb 23, 2018 |
This book shows young readers the power of forgiving someone who wronged you. Desmond is a young black boy who gets called a "very mean word" by some bullies in town. He really wanted to retaliate and eventually talks to someone about it who tells him that the best thing he can do it forgive them even if they didn't say they were sorry. Desmond lets them get the best of him and fires back. He feels really bad about it and tells one of the kids that he was sorry and that he also forgives him. This gets a huge burden off of Desmonds shoulders and he's free from holding the grudge. ( )
  alan.greenwald | Sep 16, 2017 |
Desmond and the Very Mean Word, is a book that some students might not love. I personally was not as big of a fan of this book but I did enjoy the vivid water color pictures. However, this book has a very good meaning behind its words, this book is showing how there are bullies out there and come children will be called out on mean words and its not right. Bullying should not be tolerated for any reason no matter what. This book will show kids to take the bigger road and not fall into the pattern of teasing there peers. In my opinion I wouldn't read the book to any kindergardeners but I think this book is more geared towards an older crowd like 2nd graders. Many children get bullied and adults need to put a stop to it and pay more attention to what is going on in there children's life. Also parents and adults should set a good healthy examples for there children. I personally believe if parents provided a healthy living environment for there kids where there is a zero tolerance for bullying we would live in a much happier world. ( )
  ansleyfurse | Apr 13, 2017 |
In my opinion this is a very good book. The point of view was in third person. I thought that maybe it could've been in first person and it would've made it more personal. Since the story line is such a relatable story line for children i feel like if it was told from Desmond's point of view it would've been better. The book definitely pushes readers to think about tough issues such as bullying. Many children who do not get bullied are somewhat blind of the issue at hand but for the who are involved in bullying they know how serious of a problem this is. The main idea of this book was that getting back at someone and stooping down to peoples levels is not always the right thing to do. You should always be the bigger person and in the end you will feel better yourself and you will have not hurt anyone. ( )
  gcarat1 | Oct 25, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Desmond Tutuprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abrams, Douglas Carlsonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ford, A. G.Illustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763652296, Hardcover)

Based on a true story from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s childhood in South Africa, Desmond and the Very Mean Word reveals the power of words and the secret of forgiveness.

When Desmond takes his new bicycle out for a ride through his neighborhood, his pride and joy turn to hurt and anger when a group of boys shout a very mean word at him. He first responds by shouting an insult, but soon discovers that fighting back with mean words doesn’t make him feel any better. With the help of kindly Father Trevor, Desmond comes to understand his conflicted feelings and see that all people deserve compassion, whether or not they say they are sorry. Brought to vivid life in A. G. Ford’s energetic illustrations, this heartfelt, relatable story conveys timeless wisdom about how to handle bullying and angry feelings, while seeing the good in everyone.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:34 -0400)

While riding his new bicycle Desmond is hurt by the mean word yelled at him by a group of boys, but he soon learns that hurting back will not make him feel any better.

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