Never Say a Mean Word Again - Book Review

Never Say a Mean Word Again - Book Review
Never Say a Mean Word Again written by Jacqueline Jules and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard

How to neutralize an enemy? This is the question solved by the young boys in this story. Samuel’s father is a Grand Vizier, a very wise man in the royal court.

Samuel has some unfortunate incidents with Hamza and a volatile situation arises. Rather than take the low road and fight back Samuel’s father tells him to make sure that Hamza never says another mean word to him. How can he do this? How can he make sure he never receives an insult from Hamza?

Through trial and error and a variety of situations Samuel tries to make sure it never happens again. Monkeys, lemons, and gags do not work. Inadvertently and inspiration-ally over art, chess and water fun, the boys become friends.

This story is inspired by a powerful legend of conflict resolution as they continue to get to know one another.

Beautiful illustrations by Ms. Bernhard, based on historical research of the time and place, seem true of Andalusian Spain. These boys could easily have lived today as in medieval Spain!

Awards & Honors for Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain
• Chosen as an Honor Book in the 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, “Younger Reader” category (sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries)
• Finalist of the 2014 National Jewish Book Awards in the category “Illustrated Children’s Books” (sponsored by the Jewish Book Council)
• Honorable Mention in the “Picture Book” category of the 2014 Middle East Book Awards
• Recipient of a 2014 Aesop Accolade, awarded by the Children’s Folklore Section of the American Folklore Society
• Finalist in the “Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction” category of The USA “Best Books 2014” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
• Selected as one of 10 “Best Spiritual Children's Books” of 2014 by Spirituality & Practice (

Note: this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review

Children Books

List of Magic Tree House Elementary Students' Books
Chronicles of Narnia Books
A Series of Unfortunate Events Books

Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

Content copyright © 2023 by Launa Stout. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Launa Stout. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Launa Stout for details.