Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back

By Laura Pedersen

Illustrated by Penny Weber

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Young Ella wishes her family members were less plugged in to their devices and more attentive to each other. Where are the old days when they played word games, and talked with each other, and did things together?

Papa is on his computer.  Mama is on her cell phone. Maya forgets the promise she made to her younger sister, Ella, and Carlos finds his video game more attractive than the word game they used to play together.

Ella decides to take action. She  finds a solution that third grade readers will enjoy. While her family is out, she gathers up all the chargers in a laundry basket, leaving at each plug point a note that says “Talk to Ella”. What fun! Her solution brings her exactly what she wants–the family talking to her.

The story creates so many discussion points:

  • The importance of family time.
  • A young child’s feeling of insecurity: Does the family want to talk to me?
  • Find a solution rather than throw a tantrum.
  • Empowering young readers with the belief that they can take charge and find solutions by themselves.

The family learns to find time for activities together by setting aside days and times when they will not use any electronic device. Technology in itself is not the ‘bad’ thing. In the old days a child would hide the book, or pen, or whatever it was that took attention away from herself. Today it’s computers and cell phones, a point that is simply stated for ease of comprehension.

But as Ella shows us, “A family that plays together stays together.”

Additional Activities:

Author Bio: http://www.laurapedersenbooks.com/author/author.asp
Illustrator Website: http://pennyweberart.com/

  • UnpluggedTitle: Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back
  • Author: Laura Pedersen
  • Illustrator: Penny Weber
  • Publisher: Tilbury House
  • Reviewer: Anjali Amit
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • ISBN: 978-0-88448-337-3
  • Genre: Picture Book

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