Shadow Book Inspires Lessons in Courage

Courage isn’t just for superheroes. Our teacher have been reading the new children’s book, The Boy Who Learned Upside Down and building lesson plans that help struggling students identify themselves as courageous learners. Check out our short video from the Peninsula School book launch in NE Portland, where Melody Finamori’s students drew cartoon strips of themselves being courageous. Boy is based on the real-life story of one child’s courageous journey from “I can’” to “I CAN!” that led to the creation of The Shadow Project.

A terrific true story about coping with learning challenges and accepting differences”  – Midwest Children’s Bookwatch.

“An upbeat message on a subject rarely written about”.  – Library Journal.

The Oregonian “The Boy Who Learned Upside Down’ aims to inspire kids with learning disabilities (and their parents)” – January 4, 2014

Buy the Book:
Available at Amazon, Powell’s bookstore and other online and retail booksellers.
Sales benefit Portland area students with learning disabilities


Alex is a kid with learning disabilities who’s miserable at school. When he tries to read a book, the letters sprout arms, legs, skateboards – even stilettos – and escape off the page.  “I give up!” he says. “Why can’t I just be like everyone else?”  Then something amazing happens. His teacher challenges Alex to become a courageous student – something that seems impossible for a kid like him. With the help of his dog Shadow, Alex sets off on one adventure after another in pursuit of his goal. Along the way, he learns to help others, to believe in himself and to turn “I can’t” into “I CAN!”

The Boy Who Learned Upside Down
Based on a True Story
Black Heron Press, Nov. 2013

Grades 1-5
By Christy Scattarella
Illustrations by Winky Wheeler

This post was written by
Comments are closed.