Hold That Thought!

by Bree Galbraith (Author) Lynn Scurfield (Illustrator)

Hold That Thought!
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

An inspiring look at how ideas form, grow, and connect us all In the middle of the night, Finn wakes up with something buzzing around in their head. It isn't heavy like a worry, it doesn't swirl like fear, and it isn't shaped like a question. It's something more exciting--an idea! The next day at school, Finn shares the idea with friends, who nurture it and help shape it into something even more fantastic. But not everyone is excited about Finn's idea. When a bully knocks it to the ground, Finn begins to doubt the idea. And as Finn's doubt grows, their idea shrinks. But just before the idea disappears, Finn realizes that it's exactly as it should be! Confidence renewed, Finn shares the idea with more kids, who add their own thoughts until the idea flows--and even the bully becomes inspired to contribute.

Grounded in childhood curiosity and helmed by a gentle, inquiring main character, this story about the power of ideas fosters creativity, perseverance, inclusion, and a collaborative spirit.

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School Library Journal

K-Gr 3--In an indigo night, an idea "bright with hope" wakes a child joyfully, in the sky blue bedroom they share with their brother, Otis. Finn, with tan skin and shoulder-length black hair, seven-ish, is not tied to a gender, just as the wonderful idea isn't tied to any particulars. Depicted as a spark of light, it is any inspiring thought to hold until it develops and gets buy-in--as it quickly does, expanding and multiplying when shared with Finn's group of friends who are of many races. Only freckled Otis resists, knocking the idea from Finn's hand and claiming that all ideas should look like his own. Finn retrieves the "cold, still" idea, overcoming self-doubts with his friends' help, until finally Otis changes his idea and contributes to the whole, so "there's no telling where this one would go." The writing is sensitive, and the messages of openness, sharing, and intellectual excitement are affirming. With figures delineated simply, the pencil-and-ink art is clear enough to share at read-alouds, but is wonderfully detailed close up, especially as the idea "takes wing" at the end: glowing colors intensify with the idea's acceptance. VERDICT Like Bree Galbraith's Usha and the Stolen Sun, text and illustrations celebrate youthful persistence and confidence despite obstacles, appealingly presented.--Patricia D. Lothrop, formerly St. George's Sch., Newport, RI

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"The accessible text uses a captivating combination of words synonymous with thinking and imagery that makes an idea appear tangible ... Unique, playful, provocative."— Kirkus Reviews
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
August 20, 2021

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