101 Stories From Mom
My mother recently returned from a trip and brought my siblings and me some presents. We were dying to open them. My brother got to go first; he got a new book about dogs. My sister (who is clearly my mother’s favorite) received numerous presents including toys, stationery, stickers and much more. Time for my gift. Without opening the wrapping, I could tell that it was a book. I ripped open the wrapper hoping for a thrilling new mystery. Instead, I found myself staring at a cover that read Think Positive for Kids.
Uh … thanks, Mom … ?
She went on a trip to a shopping haven, and I got a book about optimism, the importance of good decisions and positive thinking. I tried to look as happy as I could, but it was hard to be positive about my gift. Of course, the irony wasn’t lost on me. The book lay on my bedside table for a few days. I was quietly sulking and wasn’t going to be seen reading that book.
One night, I finished my schoolwork early and had nothing else to do. “Uh, why not?” I thought, as I picked up this book. As soon as I started reading, stories began resonating with me.
This book consists of 101 short stories for kids, each of which have been written by different authors who have had to overcome childhood obstacles. The stories span a range of themes, which include stepping out of comfort zones to try something new, doing the right thing even when it’s hard, accepting differences but standing up to bullies, and appreciating family, making real friends and being greateful. In many of these stories, the authors demonstrate that thinking positively and paying heed to their own conscience lead to the best long-term results.
Here’s a sampling of the lessons I learned from a few of those stories, which describe real-life and relatable situations.
Gary Graham, was a middle-schooler and violin hopeful, but when the teacher moved him to cello, he didn’t enjoy orchestra as much as he thought he would. One day, his teacher told the class that the best cello player would play a solo piece at the school’s Christmas concert — only two months away. Gary made it his mission to be the best cello player in the school, even though he was sixth in the ranking of cello players. The only way that he could move up in the rankings was by challenging each of the five students seated higher than him. Gary, who hadn’t enjoyed playing the instrument up until that day, took his cello home every weekend and practiced for hours and hours until he believed that he would win all his challenges. And with persistence, he did: Every week, for the next six weeks, he successfully challenged one of his fellow students until he was selected as seat 1, chair 1, or best cello player, just one week before the Christmas concert. This was just one of many examples in the book of how trying something new can lead to big things, and also how believing in yourself and being positive can allow you to achieve them even if they appear to be insurmountable. Gary’s story was my favorite. His different take on determination and success was very interesting.
In another story, a girl named Monica Anderman was being bullied by the same bunch of girls everyday. As much as she tried to hide it, she didn’t like it. One day, Monica refused to go to school. When she told her mother why, her mom replied,”Kill ’em with kindness.” At first, Monica doubted this wisdom and questioned how it would solve her problems. But once Monica tried it, she knew her mother was right. The girls were taken aback by her kind responses to them and didn’t pick on her anymore. Over time, she learned the only reason they were being mean to her was because many of those girls had problems at home; they were taking out their frustration on Monica. By not cowering to the bullies and, instead, trying to work it out with them is an example of a new way to deal with difficult situations.
In yet another story, D’ette Corona was known for being a liar. In third grade, she lied about everything, whether it was brushing her teeth, making her bed or even eating her dinner. One day, when she and her siblings were invited to their aunt’s house, someone did something terrible: They ruined the television so that all the shiny finishing and casing disappeared. Because D’ette was the “liar” in the family, all fingers pointed to her. No matter how much she pleaded that she was innocent, she was presumed to be the guilty one, and her parents came to pick her up and take her back home. Right before dinner, the doorbell rang. It was her aunt along with her younger sister, who had confessed to ruining the television. D’ette learned a lesson nonetheless: Lying and developing a bad reputation is a terrible habit. When you lie enough, earning people’s trust back is extremely hard.
These are just a few examples of the 101 stories for kids in this book. These stories will make you laugh, cry and cringe! I recommend this book to children of all ages who are interested in reading about other people’s experiences as well as children who are trying to improve their life. This book was a fun read, and I definitely enjoyed reading it.