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Desmond and the Very Mean Word by Desmond…

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 17 (next | show all)
I loved this story. Desmond, who got a bicycle, was the only kid in the town who had one. He was so proud of his bike, but kids in the neighborhood were saying mean words to him. He talked with Father Trevor about forgiveness which he decided to forgive the boy. He felt good to forgive the mean boy rather than to hold a grudge. I read this book to my students in 3rd grade. They seem to hold a lot of anger with people who are mean to them. We then discussed forgiveness and I think they learned a great lesson about how it would feel to forgive someone. ( )
  GrantHebert | Apr 8, 2019 |
A book about learning to forgive even without an apology, Desmond and the Very Mean Word tells the story about a young boy who is discriminated against for the color of his skin. This story sends a few positive messages to children; sometimes people are hurtful to others because they are being hurt by someone else, people don't always know how to apologize even though that they were in the wrong, its important to forgive not only for the other person but for our own benefit as well. I really enjoyed this story and think it shows the reality of discrimination and how unfair it can be. ( )
  tejennin | Mar 23, 2019 |
"Desmond and the Very Mean Word," a story inspired by events that happened in the author's childhood, follows a young black boy named Desmond, who lives in a township in South Africa. Desmond rides his new bike to meet Father Trevor, a kind man who helps everyone in the township, black or white. On the way, Desmond is called a very mean word by some kids on the street, and Desmond is beyond hurt. He tells Father Trevor, who suggests that Desmond should forgive the boys. Desmond refuses, and wishes to get back at the boys who hurt him. The next day, Desmond thinks of the meanest word he can and yells it at the boys, then he runs away. Instead of feeling better, he just feels shame. Later that day, Father Trevor tells Desmond that forgiving someone, even if that person doesn't say sorry, will make you feel much better. He explains that it's important to forgive people, otherwise the cycle or hate and hurt continues. Desmond doesn't feel like he's ready to forgive the boys yet, but when he sees one of the boys the next day being bullied, Desmond tells him that he forgives him. Desmond no longer feels shame or hurt, instead he feels free. I think this book is great to read to children because it has several important lessons to teach kids. One is that words have an actual impact on people, especially if those words are hateful. Another lesson is that fighting hate with hate never helps any situation. The most important lesson to be had from the book is that forgiving someone, even if they don't apologize to you, is the best way to handle bullying. ( )
  awaldrup | Feb 22, 2019 |
This book was an enjoyable read because it tells a good story and lesson to children. The book hints at racism. However, the book also teaches a few lessons. For ex. one lesson is to forgive others instead of trying to get even. Another lesson is also to not let words hurt you. I think this book would be good to read to students. I also think this would be a good book to use to have an interactive lesson with students. ( )
  A.Bode | Feb 17, 2019 |
Desmond and the Very Mean Word written by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Douglas Carlton Abrams is about a young black boy who gets his first bike. Excited, he rides through the town. Desmond is having the time of his life, that is until some white boys called him a very mean word. This word was never once said, but the reader knows. The illustrator captures Desmond’s anger, shame, and hurt flawlessly while clenching his fist and holding back tears while talking to the reverend. Despite the very mean word, the book teaches the reader about how the power of forgiveness is not for the other person, but it's because you deserve to be at peace. ( )
  agreenwald | Feb 7, 2019 |
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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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