By Judi Moreillon, Story Power, Tucson, AZ
As a first-year librarian, it surprised me to learn that our school dispensed clothing to children who didn’t have clothes.
I connect the wishes photographed above to Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrations by Doug Chayka. In this story, two young girls meet in a refugee camp and share a pair of sandals. When one leaves, she receives new shoes and attempts to leave her half of the sandals with her friend. Instead, the friend insists that she take both sandals as a souvenir of their friendship. WOW Review discusses this book further in an excellent review.
Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming, illustrations by Stacey Dressen-McQueen, also connects with these children’s wishes. I shared this historical fiction picture book with eighth graders who explored a culture kit. In the story, Rosie, a girl from Mayfield, Indiana, sends a package of necessities to Katje in Olst, Holland, just after World War II. As a result of their exchange of letters, Rosie learns more about the deprivations of the Dutch people. She involves her family, her neighbors and finally local businesses to help the people of Olst survive the winter.
Educators and parents hold an important role in helping children and youth take action on their wishes for the world. Books like Four Feet, Two Sandals and Boxes for Katje show how children make a difference in others’ lives.
How has children’s or young adult literature inspired/prompted social action from your students?
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