The Pencil

Susan and her sister, Rebecca, love watching their mother write letters to people in other camps. Their mother has one precious pencil, and she keeps it safe in her box for special things. One afternoon, their mother leaves the iglu to help a neighbour, and Susan, Rebecca, and their brother Peter are left with their father. They play all their regular games but are soon out of things to do―until their father brings out the pencil! As Susan draws and draws, the pencil grows shorter and shorter. What will their mother think when she comes home? Based on author Susan Avingaq’s childhood memories of growing up in an iglu, this charming story introduces young readers to the idea of using things wisely.

And Then The Seed Grew

In an ordinary garden full of flowers and plants, little Jack and Mr. Gnome live above the ground, while Yvonne the mole, the Field Mouse family, Paulie the earthworm and Colette the ant live below the ground. Everybody is happy in the garden. Until one day, a new seed arrives, which soon sprouts into a plant. As the plant begins to grow (and grow, and grow), its stalk and leaves get in the way of those aboveground, and its roots disrupt the homes and passageways of those underground. Before long, the plant has gotten so large, it has become a huge problem for the garden’s residents. So, the friends decided they must chop it down. Unless … wait! What’s that growing on the plant?

Mi papi tiene una moto

Cuando Daisy Ramona recorre su barrio en motocicleta con su papi, ve a la gente y los lugares que siempre ha conocido. También ve a una comunidad que está cambiando rápidamente a su alrededor. Pero mientras el sol azul púrpura y dorado se va poniendo a sus espaldas, Daisy Ramona comprende que el amor que siente por su ciudad nunca cambiará. Con brillantes ilustraciones y un texto lleno de sentimiento, Mi papi tiene una motocicleta es un mensaje lleno de amor de una niña a su padre, esforzado trabajador, y a los recuerdos que todos guardamos de nuestro hogar a pesar de los cambios o la distancia.

Me, Toma and the Concrete Garden

Bestselling author Andrew Larsen brings a light touch and gentle humor to this picture book story about several kinds of growth — of the boys and their friendship, the flowers in the newly thriving lot, and the community that comes together around it. Award-winning artist Anne Villeneuve’s illustrations add a visual layer to the storytelling as they show the transformation from mostly gray to vibrant color, both literally, in the blossoming garden, and figuratively, in the now engaged neighborhood. This book highlights the value of connecting to nature, even in urban areas, and the sense of community that comes from civic engagement. It’s an excellent choice for character education lessons on kindness, generosity and citizenship.

Africville

When a young girl visits the site of Africville, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the stories she’s heard from her family come to mind. She imagines what the community was once like the brightly painted houses nestled into the hillside, the field where boys played football, the pond where all the kids went rafting, the bountiful fishing, the huge bonfires. Coming out of her reverie, she visits the present-day park and the sundial where her great-grandmother’s name is carved in stone, and celebrates a summer day at the annual Africville Reunion/Festival.

Arrow Of Lightning

Now settled in the Valley Where First Light Paints the Cliffs with her family and friends, Lozen turns her attention and her far-seeing abilities to protecting her community of refugees from the two remaining maniacal overlords of Haven, a ruthless assassin, and predatory genetically-modified monsters.

Mr. Postmouse Takes a Trip

The post office is closed, and that means it’s time for Mr. Postmouse and his family to take a vacation. Of course, he’ll need to bring along a few parcels a postmouse’s rounds are never done! As he and Mrs. Mouse, Milo, Lulu and Pip set off on an around-the-world tour. The scenes provide an introduction to the concepts of community and neighborhoods, as well as modes of transportation.

Finding the Music

A young Latina girl accidentally breaks her grandfather’s vihuela and searches for someone in the community to fix the instrument, which leads her to discover her grandfather’s legacy as a mariachi. Includes an author’s note and glossary.

The Promise

On a mean street in a mean, broken city, a young girl tries to snatch an old woman’s bag. But the frail old woman, holding on with the strength of heroes, says the thief can’t have it without giving something in return: the promise. It is the beginning of a journey that will change the thieving girl’s life — and a chance to change the world, for good.

Join the discussion of The Promise as well as other books centered around relocation on our My Take/Your Take page.

This book has been included in WOW’s Kids Taking Action Booklist. For our current list, visit our Boolist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.