While Benjamin waits for his father to pick him up from school, the only thing he hears is, "a word. The word." Earlier that day, Benjamin beats his friend James while playing handball, and James retaliated by calling Benjamin "the word." With soft, watercolor illustrations that complement the text, this book is a compelling look at name-calling and intolerance, and Benjamin's poignant journey toward understanding and forgiveness. Exploring tough issues of bigotry, racial dualities, and cultural difference, Benjamin and his struggle will enrich the way that readers think about diversity and tolerance. Benjamin and the Word / Benjamín y la palabra was originally published as a five-part series in the Los Angeles Times' Kids' Reading Room section, and even received a letter of praise from the Anti-Defamation League.