Sheila Cole

Meaning Well

Lisa means well. She does not want to hurt Peggy, a quiet outsider in her sixth grade class. She befriends Peggy and is invited to Peggy’s birthday party where she has a good time with her and her dog, Lucky. But, in the end, Lisa is afraid of being excluded herself and she goes along with popular Susan and the other girls in her class without speaking up. As a result of their cruelty to Peggy, Peggy’s father takes her out of school. Lisa painfully learns that meaning well is not enough. It’s the doing that counts.

“Gives the reader the most wonderful shivers….The book ends with a sentence that changes this … simple tale into a horror story. Sheila Cole pushes the reader into a well with the moral tied to his leg like a stone.”

Jane Langton for The New York Times Book Review

“A complex subject simply dealt with offers the readers a deeper understanding of the meaning of friendship. Will be useful for classroom discussions.”

Charlotte W. Thompson for Association for Childhood Education International

Selected Works

"An exceptional job of showing readers what life was like for children in times past." School Library Journal
“Solid, truthful writing about a teenager wrestling with the greatest of dilemmas”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
A portrait of a Mary Anning, who in 1811, when she was only 13 years old, discovered the first complete fossil of an ichthyosaur.
Lisa learns that meaning well is not enough. It's the doing that counts. "A common peer group situation...dealt with bluntly and convincingly." Booklist
Eleven-year-old Zachary tries to stop the development of the local canyon he loves.