Thank you to @kidlitexchange and Groundwood Books for a free advanced copy of Sit in exchange for my honest review.
All opinions are my own.
From issues like divorce to jail to refugees, each of these stories can spur a conversation or help a child feel like they are not alone in any difficult situation. Each chair is given a title, the "Knowing Chair", the "Hiding Chair", and the "Hope Chair," just to name a few, and each provides just a little bit of peace for the person who is sitting in it. The stories take place around the world in locations that are as familiar as a swing set or a mall food court to more diverse locations like a school tour of Auschwitz or a crowded apartment for refugees in Uzbekistan. While each story is very short (no more than 20 pages), they all provide the opportunity to learn more about the locations and discuss the themes with others.
Several of the topics and conversations are some that I would not consider suitable for the younger middle grade audience, even though it is solicited to that age range. The language and themes would be better suited for older middle grade (ages 12 and up) and the young adult readers.
My only qualm with these stories is the negative light in which the majority of the adults are painted. Not one understands the child in each story, nor do they attempt to do so. While it teaches readers to develop their own agency and to take charge of their fate, it doesn’t teach them to talk about these issues with the adults around them. If you are a parent or teacher reading along with your kiddos, this would be a great opportunity to talk about these ideas.
Ellis focuses on one significant moment in each character’s life, showing readers that every moment is a chance to make positive impact on their own lives. I highly recommend Sit and give each of its stories four out of five stars!
TL/DR: Seven stories all connected by the power to stand rather than sit. Great for readers that feel stuck in a situation.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The way to Alexandra's heart is through a great book recommendation.