Simon B. Rhymin'
“Do yourself a favor and listen to this as an audiobook! It is read by the author and adds an entire new dimension to the story—music! Simon's passion is rapping. It's the way he expresses himself best but he's only ever been able to do it in front of his family and close friends. Then on the first day of fifth grade, his teacher gives him an oral assignment and Simon's anxiety about speaking in public comes out full force. He learns a lot, both through the project where he interviews a local homeless man that he always passes on his way to and from school, and through his family and friends as they encourage him to face his fears. Reed created a really relatable main character in Simon. He has a passion that directly conflicts with his fears (... don't we all?) and learns to overcome it in a beautiful manner. The book touches on social justice and racial inequality issues as well as school bullying (Simon is the one of the smallest kids in his class). The audiobook was EXCELLENTLY narrated by the author and added a fun and entertaining new level to the story. Though I'm sure the text reads just as well, Reed rapping Simon's interludes himself added depth to Simon and really solidified that character. Great for kids who may need their own inspiration to get over social and presentation anxiety as well as kids who have strong musical passions. Also a FUN read for adults! Who needs age restrictions!?”Kimi,
Buttonwood Books and Toys