“… every teacher should read this to their class and talk about it.. I’m going to take it to show my teacher”.
~ 10 year old
Professor Denis R. Berkson tells a masterful story. . .
JACK & HANK. . .
Hank's youngest fan!
~ Submitted by Nick & Beth Parilo
in Chicago with
& Jeanne Sparrow
Enjoying a HANK moment. . .
Kelsey Kleimola. . .former
Ms. Wheelchair Michigan
and her family!
Denis has done a nice job with a topic that can be complicated.
What a beautiful, honest and creative book.
HANK rave reviews. . .
Hank - not your average chair, has been honored as the official book of the Chicago SkyCares Foundation! Visit their website to learn how you can get involved by CLICKing on their logo. . .
Hank & Allie proudly support the efforts of the
Sky Team in our communities!
" Professor Denis R. Berkson tells a masterful story about a wheelchair named Hank who is sharing parallel dilemmas with his user (Allie) about acceptance of differences. The story uses Hank’s perspective to share what a younger individual in a wheelchair might be experiencing emotionally. Hank explicitly states how he does not feel special, wanted, or useful to his user, Allie. Hank wants to be more and do more than he can but Allie reminds him that he is great the way he is.
The true heart of this story comes when Allie is lying in bed and shows her appreciation for Hank the wheelchair. Allie lets hank know that she is feeling judged the same way he is and she goes on to explain how her struggles are made easier because she has a friend like Hank. The interactions between these two demonstrate that what is inside an individual is what matters most and that we shouldn’t be afraid to confront our differences.
Hank, Not Your Average Chair provides a discussion questions and a coloring section in the back of the book after the story making it a teacher’s best friend. Examples of questions include, “Hank helps Allie through her day, what helps you through your day?” “Do you know anyone in a wheelchair like Allie?” “Do you know anyone with a different type of disability?” With ample opportunities for discussion, students are engaging in strong and meaningful social emotional learning. The purpose of the story about Hank and Allie is to help young learners understand and appreciate the diversity of others. Hank, Not Your Average Chair celebrates inclusion, diversity, community, and the ability to realize the potential and power of every individual"
~ Cory Jeffrey Burns
Northeastern IL University - President
Student Council for Exceptional Children
"There is no better compliment for a book than a positive student response. Hank -not your average chair, elicited an enthusiastic statement from a 10 year old 5th grader. After a quick read she stated “… every teacher should read this to their class and talk about it.. I’m going to take it to show my teacher”.
Hank is a clear, reader friendly book that allows for discussion of differences and attributes of strength that every child has. It kindly illustrates how challenging the subtleties of moving with a wheel chair can be. The illustrations are black and white, allowing any reader to make it their own by coloring it. The questions at the end of the book allow for easy classroom/parent use to make the discussion as deep as the readers/listeners need it to be.
As professionals that work with students have read the book sitting on my counter, they have asked to take it with them to read to their own students. Strong statement for a quick read in a children’s literature market that is filled with good texts.
Denis Berkson has done a nice job with a topic that can be complicated. I recommend it to any level classroom. It is a good read aloud, as well as thought provoking discussion starter."
~ Sherie Huber
Illinois Council for Exceptional Children
President Elect 2016-18
Children Membership Chair
Retired Assistant Principal
School District #41 Glen Ellyn, Illinois
"Dear Professor Berkson,
Today, I purchased Hank, not your average chair from a gift store in Evanston. What a beautiful, honest and creative book. Thank you for writing it.
I am a pediatric PT at an outpatient clinic. I can't wait to share this book with my clients, their parents and also my colleagues. I know it will touch them all!
So happy I found this book! Thank you!"
~ Jodi Zavos
"Friends with kids. I highly recommend sharing this book with all kids in your life. Help them celebrate the differences of others. HANK: Not Your Average Chair is an inspiring, fun, educational, and hearwarming read.
We couldn't be more proud of Denis Berkson and couldn't recommend this book more! It is a story inspired by his son Mike Berson who you know from HANDICAP THIS. Do yourself a favor and check out this book. Give it as a gift. Help spread the word of love and embracing differences.
~ Elizabeth Antonucci
Founder & Artistic Director
Step Up Productions