Zach wants to swing successfully on the trapeze rings.
Zach is white, Sonya’s brown, and their multiracial classroom is multiply diverse—one girl wears hijab, and one boy is in a wheelchair. Sonya knows how to grab each of the four overhead rings in turn, but Zach can only do the first one. Sonya tells her friend: “My dad says when I try something hard it helps to have a plan.” (She is shown remembering when she helped her dad with plumbing.) As she and Zach brainstorm, Sonya reminds him that he has great skill in Robo Rocket Quest. Just as Zach “found a new way” to reach a higher level in the game, he realizes that he must “come up with a new way to do the trapeze rings.” The plan falls into place, and, as the title says, “Zach hangs in there.” Their brown-skinned teacher helps them reflect and encourages them to “remember their steps for next time.” Sonya uses the four trapeze rings as the four steps of the plan. Brightly colored cartoonish digital illustrations accompany the overlong and overtly didactic text. One of a series of books about Zach and various social issues written by a psychotherapist, this includes a note to adults on helping children persevere; a planning tool is available on the publisher’s website.
Teachers and parents may find this purposeful book useful, but most children will not. (Picture book. 6-8)