Cover Image: One Thursday Afternoon

One Thursday Afternoon

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Member Reviews

First of all, I think the existence of this book is important, and I doubt there are many like it, so I appreciate the author's willingness to address how lockdown drills affect children in school. In her author's note at the end, DiLorenzo's empathy shines through as she reflects on the reason for writing this book. 

One Thursday Afternoon follows the story of Ava, a young girl who's just experienced the fear and disorientation of a lockdown at school and struggles to grapple with these emotions as she spends the afternoon with her grandpa at the park. 

Let's start with what the book does well: 
- The setting felt like the right choice. Illustrated in soothing shades of green and orange, it felt like exactly the kind of environment that offers safety for processing emotions. 
- The grandpa exhibits humility in admitting that he doesn't know exactly what Ava is going through but offers his presence and support instead. In reading this to children and grandchildren, parents and guardians can be invited to embrace the same level of empathy. 

That being said, the implementation of the idea could have been strengthened. Starting at the end of the school day, the book didn't make clear the nature of the context we were dropped into, and we didn't learn until a couple pages in that Ava was upset or why. The illustrated facial expressions hinted at it, but they were too subtle to really get the point across. 

Also, the response of saying, "yes, the world is scary, but it's also beautiful" felt unearned, like it didn't acknowledge the complexity of Ava's emotions or the situation. I know children might not be able to comprehend it all, but I do believe they can hold a bit more complexity than was offered. 

We had a moment where she began to lean on her painting as a way to release some of the tension, and I would've liked to sit there longer: How can painting, or art in general, or other activities help us see the world as a beautiful place, to make good on that earlier claim? 

All in all, I'll reiterate that this is an important book, but I would've liked to see more development of the concept. Still, I'm glad it exists nonetheless.
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What a beautifully illustrated, thoughtful book.
Because these drills have been normalized in schools, it is so important to have them reflected in current literature.
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Excellent book about active intruder drills. Sad that we live in a world where this is necessary for our students and children, but this book will be such a help.
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This was such a thoughtful and nuanced look at the complex problem of school shootings and the trauma of the most routine lockdown drills. I also appreciated the intergenerational aspect of this story and the way it helps show caregivers how they might hold space for their children. We've added this to our library collection and immediately put it on display.
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This is a hard topic that should be in discussion more.  Students don’t realize that it is okay to feel scared during these drills and this book demonstrates that it’s okay to feel.  I would use this for my kids who have trouble during lockdowns because they are scared or nervous.
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I volunteer at my son’s library and I’ve had this conversation with the media specialist. This isn’t a conversation anyone wants to have but unfortunately it’s one we have to have. This book is a wonderful gateway to that hard conversation.
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One Thursday Afternoon is such an important book in today's world. I'm in my second year as a teacher and while we haven't done a lockdown yet, I have had students ask questions and I struggle to find the right way to address their questions without shutting them down. I think this book did a great job of addressing students' concerns and feelings about a lockdown without sugarcoating it or being demeaning. I would love to use this in my classroom to help start conversations and help my students.
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Beautiful book that delves into fears of a lockdown at school coupled with a grandparent relationship. Book includes information and resources on further discussion in an age appropriate manner.
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Every school and public library should have a picturebook on hand that discusses lockdowns in an approachable manner for young children. This is a beautiful book that gently introduces the idea of being scared and sad after a lockdown, but I don't think it goes far enough. It's just enough to introduce the topic and allows caregivers an opening for deeper conversations, but if that caregiver is looking for more direction this isn't the right book.
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This is a sweet book to read with a child who is scared of lockdown drills.  Ava's grandfather helps her process her feelings.  Recommend to parents and to teachers of younger students.  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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Written with beauty and kindness, this picture book handles gently the fear school children face every day. Lockdown drills are becoming a part of school routine, but how do our kids feel once they realize their classroom is not the safe place they assumed it always would be? Grandad's example of patience and creativity offers a way for caregivers to know that sometimes the best response is just to listen.
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One Thursday Afternoon
Barbara DiLorenzo
When Granddad picks Ava up from school one Thursday afternoon, it’s clear that something is troubling her. Grandad has packed a picnic and their paints, but Ava says she had a bad day and just wants to be alone. Grandad does not press her; they sit quietly, alone together. When they begin to paint, Ava opens up to tell her grandfather that she is scared; they had a lockdown drill at school.
This book was conceived after the author experienced a lockdown drill at the school she was visiting. The story is sensitive to the fear and uncertainty Ava feels; Grandpa is patient and understanding and does not minimize her fears, instead telling her about “duck and cover” drills he experienced, and that he too felt afraid - and sometimes still does. His compassion, quiet acceptance, and heartfelt listening reassure  Ava that although the world can be a scary place, it is also a warm and beautiful place full of love. 
The illustrations are exquisite and perfectly compliment the story; Barbara DiLorenzo has captured the beauty and healing of the nature trail grandfather chooses. The book includes a note from the author/illustrator with suggestions for helping children manage difficult feelings.
I received an advance review copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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First off the illustrations in this book were amazing and well done.  I loved them and they really brought the story together.  The plot of the story was very creative and an easy read.  I liked how it incorporated a tough topic but in a very light way due to dealing with a child.  It showed child's response to the situation very well.  I wasn't expecting it to be about a lock down drill when the girl mentioned it.  I thought this book was well written and would be good for a parent to read to their child.
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One Thursday Afternoon
While it is a kids' b0ok, an adult reading the book to or with the child will also benefit from the book.
A good, thought-provoking story. To be read and re-read.
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This book is a great way to discuss school lockdowns with children.  Unfortunately, in today's world this is becoming a normal occurence.  Young children need a safe place to talk and let their feelings out.

The author uses Ava and her grandfather to show readers that it is perfectly fine to feel scared and lonely.  It is best to talk with someone you love about those feelings.  

This book would be a great addition to any classroom or school counselor's library.  This book would be a good way to open up conversation in the classroom about the topic of school lockdowns and drills. 

As an edcuator, I would highly recommend using this in your classroom!
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A great picture book that can be helpful for any age group. This story is powerful and a great way to get a conversation started when it comes to lockdown drills. They are becoming more and more a part of our children’s daily lives and sometimes it affects them deeply. This can help students who are scared and anxious and let them know that it's ok.
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This is a tough topic to stomach, but the reality is that this is a major problem and fear of parents, teachers and kids too. Not talking about the topic won’t make it go away. Books are a great way to Segway into scary topics for kids.
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Ava is waiting at school for her grandfather.  When he picks her up he says  “what’s wrong” which she replies “nothing.”  He tells her that he has a surprise for her.  He has brought a picnic and paints.    Ava tells grandfather she just wants to go home as she has had a bad day at school.  Grandfather takes her to a nature trail and Ava asks to go home but grandfather says no.  They sit down to eat but Ava has no appetite.  Why?  Ava finally tells grandfather about the school lockdown practice — how it scared her and she is afraid.  Will grandfather know what to say and do to help Ava?

This picture book shows adults reading this story to their children how they might help their children how to deal with good and bad in the world.  I think it would be a way to discuss why there are school lockdown practices now.  The illustrations and writing work together perfectly.  It is a sweet story.
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Grandpa goes to pick up his granddaughter from school.  She's sad and unhappy just wants to go home.  But he has a picnic and paints and takes her to the country.  She doesn't want to talk and he says OK.
Flyaway Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

They had a practice at school for how to hide if a shooter appears. It scared her.  She thought her classroom was safe.  Grandpa tells her about his fears when he was in school. Soon she is feeling better.

She gives him a hug and they paint.  There may be danger but she knows what do now.  And Grandpa is going to take her on a picnic and paint again the next day!
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I’ll begin by saying that I wish that we did not need this book but, since we do, all credit to the author/illustrator for this sensitive title. As can be seen in the cover art, Ava is not smiling. At first, she does not want to tell her Grandad what is wrong. Wisely, he gives her time, and time in nature, to let Ava share at her own pace.

What is bothering Ava is school lock down drills. They must be very scary for schoolkids.

Grandad empathizes and listens. He reminds Ava that there is beauty in the world too and that he is always there for her.

As the school year begins, teachers may want this book in their classrooms. Families may also want to share this one with their children. Counselors know that it can be easy to want to avoid the tough topics but think about getting this book for your child. It is not less scary to ignore reality. In fact, perceptive kids know what is going on and wonder why adults don’t acknowledge it.

Thank you to this author for taking on a hard topic in a soft way.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Flyaway Books for this title. All opinions are my own.
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