Book 1: Susie's Shoesies: Some Dreams Do Come True
The Susie's Shoeies Series is based around a young girl, Susie, whose Grandmother gives her magical red shoes for her eighth birthday. These magical shoes get named "Susie's Shoeies" by her amazing and resilient rhyming brother, Bennett. The magical shoes allow Susie to travel throughout time, to talk to famous and/or significant people and to experience significant historical events to help Susie deal with issues in her present day life.
In the first book the world changing pioneer, Eleanor Roosevelt, teaches eight year old Susie, as well as other girls, that they have value. Mrs. Roosevelt speaks to Susie about her work in gaining equality in our county in the 1948. Susie learns so much more than a history lesson. She learns to stay calm during emergencies, to slow down and to think rationally while solving problems and to tackle inequality with "spunk and determination" (p. 78).
I love the quote by Eleanor Roosevelt "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." The book really captures the meaning behind that statement.
What a great book to kick start a series!
Book 2: Susie's Shoeies: Another Susie's Shoeies Adventure
The second book in the series tackles the difficult topic of bullying. I feel that the section of the book that says "I couldn't believe nobody stood up for me and I did not want to be a tattletale" (p. 4), really captures what children feel when they get bullied. They don't want to speak up for fear the bullying will worsen. The second book takes Susie and her brother, Bennett, to the Olympics in 1960 where Olympic track star and world class athlete Wilma Rudolph give the kids a lesson of overcoming diversity and unfair treatment with determination and grace.
This book encourages children to conduct research, to look deeper at things, to find connections to what is happening presently and to apply it historical people and events. This gives the kids ideas on how to deal with the difficult situations.
Here are two quotes that I totally loved. The first was said by Wilma Rudolph " I ran and ran and ran everyday, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened" Remember "triumph cannot be had without the struggle" (p. 12). I feel these are the types of encouraging statement are children need to be reading.
The book also captures the richness of Italian language, art, architecture and culinary excellence.
In the end the kids discover that the bully is going through some tough stuff at home and instead of being mean back they decide to move forward in a positive way. They join forces and find a great way to turn their once negative relationship into a campaign to better the school.
Book 3: Susie's Shoeies: A Splendid Reward
In the third book in the series we go on a scientific time travel adventure of epic proportions. Some tough decisions need to get made by kids when cheating is discovered at the school science fair. How will the kids deal with this tough subject!? You must read the book to find out.
The book explains many science based concepts such as; how experiments are conducted, how you can use predictions or create hypothesizes, how experiments involve trial and error and how they can have splendid rewards when the discovery helps other people. This book, like the others, encourages reading and research. The books really teach children that knowledge is power. What another great lesson to have our children read and eventually put into practice. How wonderful to teach learning is exciting, how it opens up your world and how it drives you to become a more well rounded, educated person.
I love this series!
Book 4: Susie's Shoeies: The Show Must Go On
In the forth book in the series the time traveling kids learn lessons of poverty, famine and drought and war. All the great elements that the series is known for are present in this book.
The book highlights how our history is connected to our futures, how reading give you knowledge and how knowledge can evoke change. How people's deficiencies can actually be a be benefit, among so many other amazing lessons kids need to be learning. In the end the kids do some amazing things to change and better their home town. I cannot say enough how much I love the Susie's Shoeies series. I think they are without exception some if the best books written for this age group (8 and up).
I highly recommend this series and rate it 5 stars!!