Carol Otis Hurst’s FIRST picture book! Rocks In His Head

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“Some people collect stamps. Other people collect coins. My father collects rocks.”


This book is based on the true life story of the author Carol Otis Hurst’s father. Ever since he was a child, Carol’s father has been passionate about rocks. He has a constantly growing collection displayed in his house, and always has a couple rocks sitting in his pocket. Although people often keep collections of various things, no one thinks his collection is worth anything, and that his hobby was a waste of time. People always tell him, “You’ve got rocks in your head!”

However, all of them are proven wrong when his knowledge and passion for rocks earns him a job during the Great Depression working at the Science museum. Slowly but surely, Carol’s father works his way up to becoming the curator of mineralogy.

This book sends a great message about staying true to oneself, and doing things that make you happy. As Carol Otis Hurst states, “Anyone who has ever felt a little out of step with the world will identify with this true story of a man who followed his heart and his passion.” Rocks in His Head is a fantastic read for children around age 5 and up. It is a well-written text intertwining history (The Great Depression) with an intriguing true story and positive life messages. Additionally, the unique, sketch-like illustrations (by James Stevenson) on every page give the reader lots of room to use their imagination and fill in the details. If you are looking for a fun, lighthearted read than Rocks in his Head is your perfect book!

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4 responses »

  1. Thanks for sharing this book! It sounds like it could easily be used to integrate Reading instruction with History in middle to upper elementary grades, particularly in 5th grade, where we study History from the 1800s to the present. I also like how this book emphasizes the value of differences and individual interests. I will have to check it out and look at how I can use it in my lesson planning.

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful book. I agree with the poster above, this book would be great to use within a history lesson. I also feel that the message this book sends to children about following your passion is an important one. I will look forward to reading this book to my students in the future.

  3. I love this book! My 3rd grade students study rocks and minerals in science, which makes Rocks in His Head a perfect read-aloud for bringing science into reading/language arts lessons. 🙂

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