Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag
Author Carole P. Roman
There are many warning signs that parents never really notice when a child becomes quiet, angry or even non-responsive when asked about school or friendships. Parents that work are overwhelmed by their responsibilities and a child might be falling in many areas in school and not able or willing to verbalize it.
Susannah is a sweet child but she does not always complete her homework assignments because she does not understand what is being asked or she becomes over confused because there are too many examples or too many assignments to complete so she does what many other children find convenient she puts them in her school bag hoping that no one asks for them or maybe they will disappear.
Her day begins with her mother telling her to get ready, eat breakfast and let’s move because everyone must be on time and not late. Making lunch for her is a project but when her father is almost late for the train, he grabs her lunch and now her mother must redo another one for her. You can feel the tension building and when she gets to school things begin to fall apart even more.
First, the bus ride with her best friend Lola reminding her of a sleepover on Friday that she dreads because the house is spooky. The math teacher that gives a surprise quiz and announces to the class that Susannah must get it signed, not very professional or right. The demerit in gym for no sneakers and deliberating about what book to take out of the library for her report with a library teacher that seems concerned.
Going home she is told to do her homework but first let me clue you in to the fact that she took a banana, mother requested that she eats one, and the banana takes over her school bag filled with all of the back homework, new homework and everyone is wondering where it came from and the awful smell.
Pizza for dinner and then she attempts to do her homework, but her school bag rebelled when she was in bed and it literally explodes bringing her parents into her room. What I loved is the fact that instead of yelling at her each parent, mainly her father, realizes that she is stressed and has a problem and explains that she can always come to him for help.
Everything was on her head and she was so upset but when her father comes up with a method to show her how to organize the work, helping her to complete it you won’t believe the end results. Susannah learns that asking parents for help is okay. She learns that if she does not understand something rather than burying it in her schoolbag or in her mind without saying what is wrong. Homework can become overpowering when a child does not understand the work or there is too much given at one time. Obviously, she does not feel comfortable asking the teachers for help or asking a question. This is an excellent book for all children of every age to learn that it’s okay to not know something. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to want to do well but do not bury the problem in your mind or school bag. Her parents are truly a great role model for other parents and teachers and parents need to be more aware of a student that is too quiet, keeps her head down, misses too much work or a child that is bright and fails a test because he/she is nervous.
Once again author Carole Roman teaches some valuable lessons to everyone: Patience, understanding, organization and parental guidance and love.
Susannah is a great character and this series teachers many important lessons. Let’s hope Susannah does not do what she has in past: Oh Susanah: It’s in the Bag: not anymore
Fran Lewis: Just reviews
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