Jada Got the Bear is a literary form of social emotional entertainment written for upper elementary students ages 7-10. It is a tender lighthearted story about a young black and white mixed girl who is dealing with mental illness in her family. Jada is a student in the fourth grade. Her mother is white, and her father is black. She lives in a small town surrounded by the support and love of her middle class family. Grandma Maddie lives right around the block, offering her advice when needed. Her brother James is coping with dyslexia. Jada Got the Bear delves into the complications of bullies, as well as one’s own ability to overcome their obstacles while advancing others in the struggle. The family’s reaction when their mother goes into the hospital on a 72-hour hold references the themes of resilience, change, love, friendship, and courage. Jada Got the Bear offers examples of social emotional lessons helping young readers to understand that many people experience complicated emotional issues, but that anyone can learn and grow from them. This story can be read aloud, or independently. It can be used as a springboard in social emotional circles with questions at the end of each chapter, or simply used as a literary educational agent. Jada Got the Bear deals with the heavy issues of life in a manner that is respectful and appropriate for children.
Chapter 1: Meet the Wilsons
God, I hate my hair today. My name is Jada. I live with my brother James, my cat Morris, and my dog Moses. My family is somewhat unique. My mom is white, and my dad is black. Mom’s name is Susan. She works at Carter Elementary as a temporary school secretary. Carter Elementary just happens to be the school that me and my brother James attend. People sometimes ask me how it feels to go to a school where your mom works. I say it has its perks. Like one time when my lunch was destroyed because my yogurt busted in my lunch bag, it made my sandwich all soggy, and I hate soggy bread. Mom said, no problem, and just like that, at 11:55, she brought my lunch to the cafeteria with a Bungalow burger and French fries from the Canteen Connection down the street. All of my friends were jealous, and I was one happy camper.READ MORE
Then there are not so happy times, like when I got in trouble in the auditorium. We were having a special fundraiser presentation. My best friend Carla asked me for a piece of candy. When we are in the auditorium, no one is supposed to talk while the speaker is talking. That was one of the first rules that we learned on day one. You know when your teachers take you on a tour of the whole school, and teach you all of the rules, like you are really supposed to know all of those rules in one day. The other rule about the auditorium is that no one is supposed to have food of any kind. Unfortunately, Mrs. Richard caught me breaking two rules that day. As I was pulling the candy from my pocket to secretly hand Carla a piece, she accidently dropped it in the middle of the isle. Mrs. Richard told me to go to the office. My mom let me have it. She told me that she never wanted to be interrupted from her job again to discipline me. I said, “Yes Ma’am,” and went back to the auditorium where the whole fourth grade watched me walk shamefully back to my seat.
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