A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. Her neighbors tell her about their own beautiful things. Miss Delphine serves her a “beautiful” fried fish sandwich at her diner. At Mr. Lee’s “beautiful” fruit store, he offers her an apple. Old Mr. Sims invites her to touch a smooth stone he always carries. Beautiful means “something that when you have it, your heart is happy,” the girl thinks. Her search for “something beautiful” leaves her feeling much happier. She has experienced the beauty of friendship and the power of hope.
When I look through my window, I see a brick wall. There is trash in the courtyard and a broken bottle that looks like fallen stars.
There is writing in the halls of my building. On the front door, someone wrote the word Die.
The teacher taught me the word in school. I wrote it in my book. B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Beautiful!
I think it means something that when you have it, your heart is happy.From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. . Excerpted by permission of Dragonfly Books, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
About Sharon Dennis Wyeth
“When I was a child, books were my refuge, and my favorite place to be was the public library. As an author for young readers, I am so happy to have come home to that world. What a privilege it is to maintain a connection with young people, while reconnecting with the child in myself.”—Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Sharon Dennis Wyeth’s book Something Beautiful was selected by the Children’s Book Council as a Notable Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies. Her Always My Dad is a Reading Rainbow Selection.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sharon Dennis Wyeth brings a variety of experiences to her work as an author for young readers. She has been a family counselor, television writer, and actress, and is a cum laude graduate of Radcliffe College. Commended by Publishers Weekly for “her compassionate rendering of contemporary families,” she is the first recipient of the Stephen Crane Literary Award, awarded by the Newark Public Library.
Sharon Dennis Wyeth enjoys singing, hiking, cooking, and gardening.
AUTHOR FUN FACTS
Born: April 19 in Washington, D.C.
Previous jobs: Family counselor, actress, voice teacher, and television writer.
Inspiration for writing: “Remembrances of my own childhood; watching my own daughter grow up; my husband; the young people I meet in my travels; . . . my desire to share what I have learned and to pass on something beautiful.”
Favorite foods: Pasta, hot chocolate, corn on the cob
Favorite clothes to wear: Long dresses and big hats and sunglasses and huge earrings!
Favorite books: Books by Toni Morrison, Jane Austen, Walter Dean Myers, and Mary Pope Osborne
GINGER BROWN: TOO MANY HOUSES
“This easy chapter book will appeal to transitional readers and also provide reluctant readers with an alternative to lengthier novels.”—Booklist
ONCE ON THIS RIVER
“Wyeth’s passion for the period—and for prodigious research—is evident. . . . Impressive.”—Kirkus Reviews
“An uplifting story illustrated with strongly realistic paintings.”—The Horn Book Magazine
“This moving picture book offers a shining testament to the ability of human beings to find ‘something beautiful’ in even the most unlikely places.”—Publishers Weekly
WINNER 2000 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Master List