There are few things I love more than introducing my children to new books. Over the last week or so we have been reading “Forgiving Angie” by Tashonda N. McCormick. Forgiving Angie centers on Frankie, whose younger sister Angie broke his favourite toy. Frankie is understandably upset and begins to make a series of hilarious plans to get his revenge on Angie, yet as he evaluates each plan, it becomes clear that they are all flawed because maybe just maybe, there is a better way.
Why we love it…
My children are at the age where each of their personalities is becoming stronger and more individual, this, of course, means that several times a day, we have to mediate quarrels and fights. Like Frankie, they tend to experience strong emotions and despite our best efforts to encourage them to forgive each other, they can often be heard saying things like “I am not your best friend again!” Introducing Forgiving Angie to them, allowed them to see how forgiveness works. You see, even though Angie may have deserved some of Frankie’s feelings, he was still able to choose to forgive. So nowadays, when emotions run high I ask them if they learned anything from Frankie and if they can think of a better choice.
At our home, new books can be a strange experience for my children, after seeing themselves represented in my books (figuratively and literally), there is always some confusion when books do not contain characters that look like they do – which is okay and we have great discussions about all the many ways God created us. However, seeing characters that do look like them is always a wonderful experience for my children. Both Frankie and Angie are beautifully illustrated representations of children of colour, navigating real challenges and rising victorious. This book is every bit a story of courage, grace, and love – all qualities that I want my children to associate and identify with.
Beneath this smart and funny story, Tashonda brilliantly weaves a character who uses his intellect to arrive at the best possible solution to a problem. Frankie creates plots then evaluates each of them and decides whether or not they will bring about the results he wants. As a parent, I love how we were able to follow his thought process from some pretty sketchy plans to him figuring out on his own why that may not be the best course of action. Within the last week, I found myself sitting with my children and engaging in critical thinking a lot more. “What do you think will happen if you did that?” “Do you think that this is a safe thing for you to do?” “How would you feel if someone did that to you?” And much like Frankie, I can see my children arriving at their conclusions about things and this is one of the best lessons this book has brought to my family.
As a mother and author, I am always looking for content that can help build my children’s character. There is no greater joy than finding materials that help drive home the lessons that you have already tried to impart to your children. Forgiving Angie gently introduces the concept of forgiveness to children. This is something that many adults, myself included, still struggle with and I am so grateful to Tashonda for creating this beautiful book, which can be used to engage in conversations about how adults and children can choose to forgo revenge and choose forgiveness.
Forgiving Angie is available at amazon.com