using Those Shoes in speech therapy
Frequent Speech Sounds:

/z/ final
/sh/ initial


helping others
appreciating what you have
character growth

Book Details:
Diverse Characters: Yes
Age Recommendation: Elementary, Late Elementary

Those Shoes

By Maribeth Boelts

All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. Though Jeremy’s grandma says they don’t have room for “want,” just “need,” when his old shoes fall apart at school, he is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy soon sees that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.

This thoughtful kindness-themed book can be used in speech therapy to address social/emotional issues like bullying, appreciating what you have, and helping others. It is also great for targeting character growth as well as for /z/ final and /sh/ initial sounds! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using Those Shoes in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching Concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode

Narrative Concepts:

character analysis
text features​​​


guidance, grip, price, rich, thrift, outgrew, hitch, limp, shuffling

Character Analysis:

Jeremy learns to appreciate what he has and realizes that there will always be someone who makes do with less than what he has. In the end, Jeremy helps out a friend in need.


Jeremy has to overcome bullying and societal pressures associated with having the coolest shoes since his grandma can’t afford them.



Text Features:

bold text
large font


How does he feel when his friends at school are getting the new shoes?
What is he thinking when Mr. Alfrey gives him the shoes with Velcro?
Why do you think Antonio Parker didn’t laugh?
How does he feel when he gets home?
What are they thinking when they look at the price?
Why do you think he bought the shoes even though they didn’t fit?
How does Grandma feel when she gives him a hug?
What is he thinking when Antonio is asking about his shoes?
Why did he push the doorbell and run?
How do you think he felt when he left the shoes in front of Antonio’s front door?
How does Antonio feel about his new shoes and his new friendship?
How does he feel about his new boots?


What do you think he will tell his grandma when he gets home?
What do you think he might say to his grandma after looking at the price?
Where do you think they might go next?
What do you think he sees in the window?
What do you think he will do when he sees Antonio at the park?
What do you think he might do even though he says “I’m not going to do it”?
What do you think he will do in the morning?