No School, My Rules!

Children - Picture Book
48 Pages
Reviewed on 05/06/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Stephanie is a member of SCBWI (Eastern PA Chapter) & is a 2024 SCBWI Virtual Conference Scholarship winner. She has been published in print and online through various publications and has several children's poems published.

As a kid, Stephanie hated going to school. She would refuse and give her parents the hardest time. In writing the story, it's a love letter to her younger self explaining the importance of going to school through reasoning and logic.

Reading Judy Blume as a kid had a profound impact on her and her desire to write children's books.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite

Do you ever become anxious? Even children suffer from anxiety disorders, yet parents often miss the clues. In No School, My Rules!, Stephanie Henson addresses the struggles children with anxiety face in school. Maybe you had stage fright when you had to talk in front of the class. This is a common fear (anxiety) that children face, making them prefer staying at home instead of being embarrassed in front of classmates. One big problem in today’s schools deals with bullies. Birds don’t have to face bullies, so why should children? Stephanie shows many different animals and things that don’t have to face the fears generated by attending school. Children would love to be exempt from the anxiety-producing activities of school. Even though school can cause great anxiety, Stephanie shares the benefits of attending school and learning how to work on your future, become confident, overcome boredom, and be protected. This is a great book for any child who suffers from school phobia.

Often, parents overlook the issues of school phobia and anxiety that many children face. No School, My Rules! will help children learn to cope with anxiety and enjoy school. The illustrations by Mai Tran are excellent and reinforce the desire to be anxiety-free. One of the best tools in combating anxiety is knowing you don’t suffer alone but share your fears with many, many other children. Stephanie Henson writes on this important but difficult topic in language that any young child can understand. Stephanie uses humor to teach children how to overcome their fears and look forward to a bright future. It is a wise parent who seeks to understand their child’s fears and anxieties. Talk with your child about why they don’t like going to school. If anxiety is too strong for them to overcome, then seek professional help. There is no shame in being afraid, and anxiety affects more children than just yours. Together with your child, you can learn techniques to help them reduce anxiety and live without fear.

Bruce Arrington

No School, My Rules! by Stephanie Henson is a children’s picture book about a girl who is fed up with going to school. She faces bullies, talking in front of others, missing recess, and so much more. She compares herself to the things and animals in our world who never need to go to school, and they seem to get along just fine. So why should she? Let’s face it: school comes with a laundry list of challenges, and sometimes it would simply seem easier to avoid it altogether. But can our hero find something good and positive about school? I liked how the book shows the perspective from a child’s point of view. The struggles are real and occur daily. The book allows the young reader to connect with what they go through all the time and doesn’t gloss over the problems that young students face today.

Those who struggle in school will like this book. But it doesn’t all end there with doom and gloom. The colorful pictures by Mai Tran and Henson's insightful ideas also teach children the benefits of education without diminishing the effort involved in graduating. It shines through with beams of positive things too, things that help students to continue, despite the challenges. And by taking the comparisons with other things and animals a step further, our hero realizes like never before, how important it is to grow through all our challenges, and how that will help us, making us stronger than ever. No School, My Rules! by Stephanie Henson, takes the real-life challenges that young students face and helps them to see the benefits they will reap by staying in school. Highly recommended.

Kayleigh Perumal

No School, My Rules! by Stephanie Henson is a quirky children’s book about one little girl’s reluctance to go to school. She can think of a million reasons why it is better not to go, including long bus rides, having to face bullies, social anxiety, personal insecurities, and tests. Anyone who has experienced these daunting perils will find this book relatable. It’s easy to sympathize with the character’s aversion to school. However, as the narrative unfolds, she transforms and has an important realization. She discovers that although she could do and be many other things in the world (which don’t involve going to school), there will always be drawbacks and limitations. In this way, being yourself and embracing the challenge is better.

Stephanie Henson skillfully captures this young girl’s journey from reluctance to acceptance. The narrative is lovely and has a beautiful rhythm to read aloud. I appreciated that the little girl’s feelings were not dismissed, but rather that the character comes to her own conclusion about why school can be positive and learning can be fun. Kids are likely to relate to the protagonist’s concerns. This story can show them how to find joy in what pushes them out of their comfort zone. No School, My Rules! is a must-read for children, especially those who have struggled with similar feelings of fear and unwillingness to attend school. The book ultimately illustrates how resilience and conquering your fears can help you to grow.