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Something Beautiful

4.46  ·  Rating details ·  905 Ratings  ·  157 Reviews
A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. Her neighbors tell her about their own beautiful things. Miss Delphine serves her a "beautiful" fried fish sandwich at he ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 8th 2002 by Dragonfly Books (first published 1998)
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May 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
When I saw the cover of „Something Beautiful” written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth I expected a picture book mainly focused on the theme of racism; presenting a girl teased for looking different than the other kids. However, I was surprised to read a story that touches on themes such as poverty, homelessness and community responsibility. Sharon Dennis Wyeth allows the reader to enter the world as seen through the eyes of a little girl; the girl who very often seems to notice more than the adults aroun ...more
The protagonist of Something Beautiful, a young Black girl, searches for "something beautiful" in her inner-city neighborhood, which is full of litter, hateful graffiti, dangerous alleys, and homeless people. The ultimate massage this picturebook delivers is heartwarming and uplifting: beauty can be found in the most unexpected places and it is up to us to find — or to create — something beautiful, “something that when you have it, your heart is happy,” wherever we live.

Yet the best part of Some
Evan Taylor
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if the beholder does not know what beauty is, then how can he/she know what beauty is? This is the dilemma a little girl in a urban society must answer in Something Beautiful. When she wakes up all she sees is broken glass, garbage, homeless people living on the streets and the word “die” painted on the door of the apartment building she lives in. She passes all of this on the way to school everyday, but on this day something special and unique happ ...more
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Powerful - be ready to discuss it with your child. And don't skip the author's note at the end. Of course the climax is telegraphed, but there's a lot more to the book than just that.
Ariel Tyler
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a work of realistic fiction, telling the story of a black girl living in a bad part of town. She sees trash outside her home, graffiti on the walls, a woman who is homeless on the street and there are parts of the neighborhood her mother cautions her to never visit. The girl reflects to her mother saying that everyone needs something beautiful but all she can see is ugly. The next day in class her (Black) teacher suggests that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So she sets about ...more
Klaudia Maniakowska
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What I found extremely interesting is my initial reaction to the book’s cover. After my first glance at the title and the cute smiling black girl, I thought that the book is going to refer to the 1960s cultural movement “Black is beautiful”. I expected that the story, using the child as an appealing example, would try to convince its readers that dark skin color, frizzy hair, and facial features of black people are inherently beautiful. Unsurprisingly, after reading the book did I realize that t ...more
Lana Clifton
If beauty is found in the eye of the beholder, then we all have responsibility for creating our own something beautiful. This book may be short and simple, but it speaks volumes. This little girl teaches us that beauty is something we feel, and make. She exposes us to real-life challenges faced in urban environments, such as homelessness, crime and poverty, and then shows us that beauty lives there too. Every elementary classroom needs this book.
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: differences
I read this book with my cohort for graduate school- we loved it! The book causes you to think critically about the different perspectives or definitions your students(if you're an educator), your child(if you're a parent), a kid in general could have about the word "beautiful". Challenge children to think critically of different definitions for multiple words after they read this book.
Deming McDowell
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
WOW! Sharon Dennis Wyeth really does an epic job here at portraying the confusion a child has while looking at and interpreting the world around them. Often times kids have such a literal interpretation of what they see and the vocabulary they are presented with, but Wyeth takes you on a journey of a girl discovering all the things beautiful can be. I loved how Wyeth uses a simple phrase and the altering views of an urban neighborhood to make strong social points about what and in turn how some ...more
Sep 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
When a young girl tries to find something beautiful in her neighborhood, she decides to go out and make her own beauty. Would be a great book to pair with Last Stop on Market Street.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-ya
Gorgeous illustrations and moving story.
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: text-set
I thought that this book was absolutely phenomenal at tieing in race and socioeconomic status while also adding the element of beauty. This book makes the reader feel that no matter what the situation, there is beauty in everything.

The very beginning of the book starts with a young African American girl living in a very impoverished neighborhood. There is broken glass and trash in a boarded up courtyard directly outside her window and on the front of her door, the word die is written in red. Thu
Cassidy Goddard
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Something Beautiful is a picture book written by Sharon Wyeth. This was a great book hitting on many different topics. This book talks about a young African American girl living in an inner city neighborhood that is run down and scary. She talks about glass bottles being broken on the side walk, hateful graffiti like DIE written on her door, and she sets off to find something beautiful. She asks her friends and family around her what is there something beautiful, and she comes to take pride and ...more
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
After a little girl is taught the word "beautiful" in class, she searches for her something beautiful. Her neighborhood is covered in litter and slurs and hate speech are written on the walls. She begins asking her friends what their something beautiful is, and it is all things she would not have found more beautiful. When she asks her mom what her something beautiful is, she says "I have you." This book shows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would recommend this book as multicultura ...more
Kiara Change
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This story is about a young girl who sees her neighborhood as ugly. The part of town that she lives in is on the "rough" side. One day, her teacher writes the word "beautiful" on the board. She asked the students to go out and look for things that are beautiful. From that point on, the little girl began to look at things in a more positive way. I adore this book because it is so relatable. There will be students who have a hard time processing certain things, but the teacher did a great job of c ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: immigration
A cute story. Would be fantastic to use in grades K-2
Liz Todd
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Just beautiful.
There is so much beauty to behold and so much opportunity to encourage beauty.
Stacey Orlando
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A young, African American, girl lives in a bad part of town. When she looks outside her window she sees trash and dead plants. As the girl walks out her front door she sees graffiti and vulgar language written all over the walls. She walks down the street and she passes by a homeless women living in a box. When the girl gets to school, the teacher writes on the board the word beautiful. She think to herself that this word means happiness. After school the girl goes to the diner and tells the wai ...more
Melissa I
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Something Beautiful
Written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth and Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

What is your “Something Beautiful”? Could it be the smile on a child’s face? Could it be the sun shining on a clear summer day? Could it be a smooth, treasured stone? Could it be new shoes or a string of beads? Could it be a nice warm meal? Could it be a place to rest your head at night?

This reflective, thought-provoking story entitled Something Beautiful was written by Sharon Dennis Wyeth and illustrated by
Ariana Thomas
Reading Level –Primary K-2
Grade level equivalent: 3.5
Guided Reading Level: L
DRA: 28
Lexile: 410L

Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Main Characters: young girl, Miss Delphine, Mr. Lee, Mr. Sims, Aunt Carolyn, and the girl’s mother
Setting: urban community
POV: main character

The book truly matches the title as it is an uplifting story that is something beautiful itself. Sharon Dennis Wyeth writes this story about a young curious girl who seeks beauty in her dark, scary, angry neighborhood full of
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Where do you find beautiful in your life? A young girl sees graffiti on buildings, trash laying on the ground, and homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk in her neighborhood. She wonders where is her beautiful? She is taught the word “beautiful” by her teacher which inspired her to go on a search for beautiful things in her neighborhood. She found it in the delicious fish sandwich at a local restaurant, in the apples at a farmers market, her friends told her what they saw to be beautiful, amon ...more
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Something Beautiful" is a story about a young girl living in the city trying to find her "something beautiful". She believes that when something is beautiful it makes your heart happy, but all she can find is graffiti, litter, and danger surrounding her home. The girl looks all around her neighborhood to find beautiful things and she is able to see the glass half full, even though the world around her is scary.

In this story are themes of strength, community, and love. The messages delivered th
Hyeonjeong Lee
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Personal Reaction - I really like this book because while reading it, it warms my heart. Living in the dangerous area, the black girl was looking for something beautiful. The word "beautiful" is contrasting to her situation. Thus, when she found something beautiful, I felt she would overcome her bad situation and get beautiful future.

Read aloud to second graders of elementary school for several potential purposes:
- This book is beautiful like the title "Something Beautiful". The girl w
Anna Korroch
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal reflection
I really enjoyed this book because it shows how students can come from all different backgrounds. The young girl in the book lives in a poor, urban area. She sees trash, brick walls, graffiti, and homeless people everywhere she looks. However, when her teacher teaches her the word "beautiful" she decides to search her city for something beautiful. She asks many different people what they think is beautiful and receives a variety of different answers. I like this because it sen
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore this book. I definitely plan on including this book in my future classroom library. Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth has a thick plot that will engage anyone who reads this book. I think this book offers children things to think about and pay attention to. I think this book is perfect for children who live in low socioeconomic areas that are not the most appealing and they cant find anything great about where they live. I also think this book is great for children wh ...more
Everyday a young girl is disheartened by the things in her neighborhood: the trash on the streets, the graffiti on the walls, and the homeless woman that sleeps in a box. When she learns the word "beautiful" at school, she sets out to find "something beautiful" in her surroundings. In her search, this little girl learns to see beyond the barren ugliness of her environment to find beauty in her friendships, her family, and herself.
This is a book that touches on adult themes such as povert
Carly Meyers
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In Something Beautiful, the narrator looks though her window and sees ugly. She sees trash in the courtyard, a broken bottle, writing in the halls, and "DIE" on her door. Walking around the town she sees more ugly. She sees a lady who lives in a cardboard box, a dark ally that mom tells her never to stop at and a garden with no flowers. She wants to find something beautiful in this ugly world so she asks her friends what they find and they name things that make them happy. When she goes home, sh ...more
Elaine Bearden
Sep 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book - a little girl in a ghetto sees graffiti on her apartment building that says "die." There is a lot of ugly in her / their lives. Her mother has told her everyone "should have something beautiful in their life." And her teacher teaches her class the word "Beautiful." So she goes around the neighborhood looking for something beautiful. Everyone has a different answer - but they have an answer. This inspires her to clean up the trash near her apartment. And wash the
This is the story of a little girl that lives in the inner city. All around her she sees things that are not beautiful, trash outside her window, a homeless woman sleeping on the street, a dark alley for which she is instructed to never stop. Her teacher teaches her the word beautiful and she goes in search for "Something Beautiful" in her neighborhood.

It is a good story to show kids that they have the power to make change. She does simple things in search of something beautiful, sweeping up th
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