We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

This kind of thing won’t be tolerated at our school, the principal declares the day the “Bad-Something” is discovered written on a wall. The incident makes the kids nervous, giggly and curious at first, but then they’re worried, confused, sad or angry. Everyone is suspicious. Who did it, and why? They miss the days before the bad-something appears, because everything — and everyone — feels different now, including parents and teachers. It takes a lot of talking, listening, looking and learning together to find a way through. Culminated in a creative group mural project, the story acknowledges that while the scars of such incidents remain, it is possible to teach tolerance and feel true community once again.

Illustrated by bestselling and acclaimed artist Corinna Luyken, here is a brave book about the power of words that tackles one of the most difficult topics for elementary school-aged children — hate speech — in a direct, realistic and empathetic manner. NOTE: The “bad-something” is never shown or revealed in the text or art. Further resources are included in an author’s note at the end.