Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

See You Tomorrow, Charles

Author:  Miriam Cohen
Illustrator:  Lillian Hoban
Grade Level:  K - 2

Buy it here! 


Summary:  It’s the third week of school and the students in the first grade are about to meet their new classmate.  Most of them are aware that this student in particular, Charles, is a student who has a disability.  He is blind.  They express anxiousness and uncertainty about how they will help Charles throughout the rest of the school year.  Can he participate in playful activities with the other boys and girls?  Can he find his way around the classroom – to his seat for example?  Charles’ non-disabled peers think it is their jobs to raise his awareness at school, but in the end it is Charles who raises theirs.  Much to their surprise, Charles proves that he is quite capable of doing school work such as math and taking care of himself.  Then, when everyone finds themselves locked in a dark basement, it is Charles who remains calm and finds the way out.

Element 5 – Raising Awareness:

This book might be short and sweet but it connects to Element Five in a very powerful manner.  Although Charles lacks the ability to see, he uses his other senses to accomplish the same tasks that his classmates can perform such as doing his math work.  Time after time, he demonstrates that his blindness will not prevent him from learning and growing.  Finally, in the end of the book, Charles rescues the class from the dark basement by finding the doorknob.  Charles dispels an unfortunate common belief that persons with disabilities are viewed as being “less than” or unequal to their able-bodied peers.


First, you’ll want to get students thinking about how persons who have disabilities are every bit as equal to those who do not have disabilities.  To do this, engage the class in a rich discussion pointing out examples of how we are all equal regardless of our differences.  Then read the story, See You Tomorrow, Charles, on the reading rug.  Be sure to pause and ask how the class thinks Charles’ classmates’ attitudes towards his disability may have evolved by the end of the story.  Upon completing the reading, have your students turn and talk to one another about the impact that Charles had on each of his classmates in the story.  Be sure to point out how Charles was able to raise their awareness about the abilities of persons with disabilities. 

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