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If You Had to Choose, What would you do?
Author - Sandra McLeod Humphrey

Leslie is a little girl who has to write an essay about the most successful person she knows. She instantly thinks about her Uncle Leonard. He was a school drop out but he had become rich through his lumber business. He had everything, while Leslie’s parents had nothing except five children to bring up and a hard life. As Leslie ponders over the success of Uncle Leonard, she is surprised to find that she cannot get her parents out of her mind….Her father who works hard as a teacher and her mom who is forever cooking, cleaning or working with learning disabled kids. She begins to wonder who is really the successful one.
Beth and Lynn are best friends at school. Lynn forgoes roller- skating with her sister one afternoon, just so that she can finish up her homework. Beth calls and asks Lynn for the answers to the math homework. She says, she’s too busy to find time and what are best friends for if not help out in times of need like this ! Lynn is left wondering what to do. She knows its not right that while she worked so hard all afternoon, Beth just wanted theeasy way out ; but she is also worried about friendship and saying no. What do you think Beth will do.
In her three books, “If You Had to Choose What Would You Do?”, More If You Had to Choose What Would You Do?” and “Its Up To You. What Do you Do?” Sandra McLeod Humphrey poses some tricky situations. She uses simple stories and incidents to highlight situations which do not have any right or wrong answers. She leaves it up to the reader to make their choices. Each story makes you ponder and reach inside yourself. You are made to think hard about the responsible choices that confront you. Every story in these three illustrated books are very real- we deal with such morally confusing questions almost everyday of our lives. These thought provoking well written books are a must read for children and an eye opener for adults.
Sandra’s career as a clinical psychologist is showcased in her handling of problems, ideas and choices which all of us face all the time in our lives. She asserts in an interview that “I hoped that through my writing, I could reach children early enough to give them the coping skills they would need not just to survive but to thrive in the ever-changing world around them.”

Excerpt :
From “If You Had to Choose , What Would you do?”
Jason had heard the same talk last year in the second grade. Only things were different then. He hadn’t known any real shoplifters.
Now he knew a real shoplifter and he knew him real well. It was his best friend, Dave. At first, Dave said he did it “for kicks”, and he had just taken stuff like candy bars and chewing gum.
But Jason knew that Dave had stolen some golf balls from a sporting goods store and a combination lock from a hardware store too…
He had tried telling Dave that shoplifting was wrong, but Dave just laughed at him and told him it was no big deal. He said the stores could afford to lose a few bucks and besides, he got a “big charge” out of doing it.
Maybe Jason could talk to his older brother Eric about Dave…There was always Mr. Brown, the school counselor. School counselors were supposed to keep whatever you said to them “confidential” and not tell anyone else.
Jason knew his dad would be glad to help him…But what if Dad told him to stop seeing Dave? He didn’t want to give up his best friend.
The more Jason thought about it, the more confused he got. There didn’t seem to be any easy answer to his problem.
If you were Jason, and you had to choose, what would you do? And why?


Book Facts :
1) If You Had to Choose What Would You Do?
2) More If You Had To Choose What Would You Do?
3) It’s Up To You What Do You Do?

Illustrated by Brian Strassburg
Publisher : Prometheus Books
Format : Paperback

Review - Shoma Mittra

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