Meet Janine. She is one of a kind! Janine dresses a little different, remembers random facts, reads the dictionary for fun, and has her own style of cheering. Nobody does things the way Janine does things! One girl in Janine’s class is throwing a party and all the COOL kids are invited. But Janine is not cool. Some kids think she is strange and want her to change. Will Janine try to be different or just be her spectacular self? In this charming story, Maryann Cocca-Leffler uses her own daughter as inspiration for a delightfully spunky character. Janine Leffler focuses on the positive while navigating life with disabilities. She has become a role model to children and adults, encouraging them to focus on abilities and promoting respect, tolerance, and kindness.

  • 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807537541
  • March 2015

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 32 Pages
  • 8" x 10"
  • 9780807537596
  • March 2020

Buy from Albert Whitman

  • 9780807537558
  • May 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Gently dealing with a bully while remaining true to herself, Janine is an admirable character who doesn’t need to put someone else down in order to feel good about herself. A refreshing tale of being true to oneself.

    - School Library Journal

  • Inspired by the author’s daughter, this gentle portrayal of difference is powerful, particularly since nothing can dampen spectacular Janine’s upbeat attitude. Little ones needing some extra encouragement to feel comfortable just they way they are should take a lesson from Janine.

    - Booklist

  • Cocca-Leffler’s portrayals of her heroine illuminate her thoughtfulness, resilience, and self-assuredness, and while the story’s message is far from subtle, it may encourage children who don’t fit in (and wouldn’t have it any other way).

    - Publishers Weekly

  • It’s nice to examine how a group can choose kindness and thus take away a bully’s power. Charming illustrations highlight Janine’s independent style and unfailing optimism. Teachers looking for a positive solution should reach for this one.

    - Kirkus Reviews

Awards & Accolades

  • ILA 2016 Teachers' Choices Reading List

    "Janine." By Maryann Cocca-Leffler

    Common Core

    RL.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10 RF.2.3,3d,3f,4,4a,4c SL.2.1,1a,1b,1c,2,3,4,6 L.2.1,2,3,4,4a,4c,5,5a,5b,6 W.2.1,3,5,6,7,8

    Activities & Resources


    • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.5
    • ATOS Level: 1.6