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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Don’t Judge is a well-told story about hurtful behavior among children. Written by K.Y. Baker and illustrated by Allison Bennett, the tale deals with a young boy, Lonnie, who attends a new school. Rumors about Lonnie start to spread – not only between the students but also among the faculty of the school – regarding the clothes Lonnie wears, the people he is seen with and his general quietness when among his peers, all of which deems Lonnie as an undesirable. Nobody actually bothers to talk to Lonnie as they are too afraid. But when one person dares to finally do so, a startling reality is uncovered.
K.Y. Baker’s story actually brought back many memories of my school days, where people were judged on their clothing brands, their possessions, new/used school books, school bags and more. It is sad, but it seems to happen so often that it has almost become a type of pandemic. Circumstances tend to create situations for those of us who are downtrodden; when others treat us as complete undesirables on top of that, it leaves behind a bitter taste of the world. Don’t Judge shows the difference one smile can make, as well as an open hand of friendship, given by one person who actually cares enough to offer their assistance in a school-related activity without having to be prompted in any way.
After reading the final page, a smile remained on my face, making me want to go out and do something nice for someone – not so that they will thank me but so they know that others care. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Don’t Judge and recommend it to all children aged 5-12 years old, so that they grow up knowing that the benefits of friendship outweigh the angst caused by somebody whose ignorance thrives on the misery of others.