Prince Noah and the School Pirates: A Celebration of the Strengths of All Children

Leah Courtney
Some time ago I had the opportunity to review The Prince Who Was Just Himself by Silke Schnee. Silke is the mom of three boys, one of whom- Noah- has Down's Syndrome. I loved the book- a beautiful, gentle fairy tale that celebrates that fact that Prince Noah, while responding to people differently than some children, has his own special gifts and abilities.

Review of Prince Noah and the School Pirates
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Silke Schnee has now written a second book that features Noah, along with her other two sons. In this book, Prince Noah begins school. But school, in those days, takes place on ships. And children are assigned to a particular ship with other children "like them." There is an all boys ship, an all girls ship, a ship for children with only one leg, a ship for children with eye patches, and a ship for children who are different, like Noah.

Noah, along with his brothers and all of the children of the kingdom, set sail and begin to learn. Unfortunately things don't always go well. The girls only do handwork on their ship, by Maya wants to learn math. The boys are so rough and tumble on their ship that their teachers despair of ever teaching them anything except climbing and diving. The children with eyepatches have a very, very quiet ship because they've learned that, although they can't see, they can learn all about the world around them by listening. On Noah's ship, he's busy dancing and learning the letter A.

Trouble comes when the school ship meet pirates. The children are all marched up to a tower and locked away. But they realize that, in working together, they can each use their own special gifts and abilities to get free of the pirates and safely back to their teachers. The newly freed children end their school voyage all together on one ship where things go much more smoothly when they're each using their strengths and working together.

As with The Prince Who Was Just Himself, I love this book. It's such a sweet, gentle way to talk with kids about how, though we're all different, we can each be celebrated for the strengths we possess.

Whether you're reading Prince Noah and the School Pirates to a child with special needs or to a child society might call "normal," this cute, make-believe story is an excellent way to have good discussions about the fact that we're each unique with different strengths we can contribute to a group.

You can find Prince Noah and the School Pirates on Amazon here.

Visit As We Walk Along the Road for homeschool support and encouragement.

Leah Courtney / Author & Editor

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