by Dr. K. Renee
The Odd Squad
This book features four friends Maliyah, Jacob, Sarah, and Samson who struggle to finish their final fifth-grade year at St. Mary’s Primary School without being the main focus of teasing and bullying. The mean kids at school refer to them as “the odd squad.” Since first grade, this group of friends have had the task of trying to learn to be comfortable in their own skin because, in many ways, they were different from their schoolmates.
From Maliyah’s struggle for acceptance of herself and from others as a biracial child with difficult-to-manage hair to Jacob’s struggle with desiring to be accepted for who he was, a very skinny boy with braces, thick-lensed glasses, and who played musical instruments that other kids felt should be played by only girls–their unique differences drew them closer together through the years. By learning the value and meaning of true friendship and learning to trust in a power that was much greater than their own, together they found strength, confidence, and encouragement in realizing that being different holds more power than they could have ever possibly imagined.
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