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The Thought That Counts

By J.J. Overell

The Thought That Counts

The Thought That Counts

By J.J. Overell

Twelve stories of everyday life for children of primary school age. With strong dramatic plot-lines and unstressed moral points, the straightforward vocabulary makes them ideal for reading aloud as well as alone. Illustrated by Robin Laurie.

Series: Overell Books
Trade Information: AGEN
Available as: Paperback

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These stories of everyday life are linked only by the common features of strong plot-line, dramatic interest, and unstressed moral points. They have already proved popular for reading aloud in school assemblies and Religious Education lessons, but the vocabulary will make the book accessible to every reader of upper junior level.

Each story has quite separate characters including one child who is the centre of the story and with whom readers will quickly identify. As the child's situation becomes plain and the story unfolds, we are drawn more and more into the drama, looking for and finally relieved by its resolution.

As the dramatic tension is released, we gain insight into some of the problems and lessons to be learned while growing up. There is no stressing of an obvious moral, but each story involves an important point which will be absorbed, whether consciously or not, by the readers. Themes include the values of truth and friendship, the dangers of fire and of jumping too readily to conclusions, and the non-material rewards of caring and consideration for others.

Sunflowers
are on a ledge when Sally moves to a house in a strange town. Planting some seeds with the girl who had owned it before, she suddenly finds it easier to make friends with others.

The Bonfire
consumes cardboard collected by two lads for recycling, and when Dad arrives he thinks it's got the boys too – great relief when he finds them!

Sammy
is a 4-year-old who goes off on his own after being teased, and can't be found; but all ends well.

Fluff
is Peter's nickname, but he discovers how to stop being blown this way and that by older bullies when he realises the strength of being in the right.

Snow
is a joy to the narrator of this story, who nevertheless learns that it can be dangerous too.

Lights
seem to be essential on dark evenings, but a power cut proves otherwise.

Special Things
have been brought into class, but teacher's disappears. Surinda accuses unpopular Morna, but finding she was wrong shows her how to help Morna.

Long Division
is too long for football-mad Max, but cheating only leads to embarrassment.

Plan 4
is owning up when you've broken something: difficult, but in the end Jenny finds it best.

Wildworld
is a theme park where Simon discovers the value of silence – and of speech.

Sports Day
is hateful for Belinda, yet because of it she discovers her real talent.

CD
is the daughter of a Russian writer, and she helps John find that not being the cleverest doesn't matter.

J.J. Overell has been a primary teacher for twelve years. He has written several children's stories for use in schools. He lives in Snodland, Kent.

Robin Lawrie has illustrated books for Kingfisher, HarperCollins, Puffin, and Paragon among others.

If there is a theme that runs through the book it is one of moral or social development but this is not pursued in a dogmatic fashion ... The author writes fluently for the reader ... This is a book to dip into ... The author succeeds in giving sufficient bite to the characters and the situations to avoid accusations of being 'twee'. There is also much humour ... The book reads well, the plots are interesting but simple, and the characters engaging. The stories will provide an enjoyable read for teacher and pupil. RE Today
All the characters are convincing. The situations are mostly ones which children could find themselves in, with a few issues to think about ... it should hold plenty of interest for readers of 8 to 10, with the bonus of nice line drawings by Robin Lawrie. It would also be suitable for reading aloud to a class. Jennifer Taylor, in The School Librarian
Will prove useful for assemblies or RE lessons ... Each of the stories has a main character with whom the children will be able to identify and a problem that needs to be resolved ... The language makes the stories accessible for all primary-aged children ... Older children would probably enjoy reading the stories for themselves ... Recommended. Annette Bailey, in The Association of Christian Teachers Digest
... a splendid book. Each story has a different, believable hero or heroine and each is brought to a satisfying conclusion. There is no tub-thumping ... but the moral issues are clear. The stories can be read aloud in school assemblies and RE lessons, but are written well enough to be interesting to any child from 8 to 11. Veronica Heley, in Woman Alive

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