It's Our World Too: Young People Who Are Making a Difference: How They Do It--How You Can, Too!
by Phillip Hoose. Nonfiction. 176 pages. Grades 3-9.
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So much of the news of young people in our society is sad that it was fun to read It's Our World Too. We thought by the cover that these were all young adults but the chapter that moved us most was about a class of first and second graders in Sweden who bought a rain forest. The writing is personal, emotional and so skillful that the young people cited here seem real and not too good to be true. Their projects were/are worthwhile, possible to emulate, and inspiring.
The book is organized into sections such as "Reaching Out to Others" and "Healing the Earth." There are over a dozen stories here along with information about how readers can get involved in making the world a better place.
This is a book to hand to students and teachers who are reading about the environment, the homeless, the disabled and the disenfranchised and are feeling overwhelmed and hopeless about any of these problems. The kids in this book did something about it. We should get off our duffs and join them.
Grades 1 - 5
Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting. Illustrated by Ronald Himler. Picture Book. 32 pages.
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This is a sensitive book about a boy and his dad who live at the airport. Homelessness is not a common subject for any children's book and a picture book on this small family is a daring deed for Bunting and Himler to attempt. They had to walk a fine line to tell us this story. A misstep in any direction would have brought condescension, oversimplification, false cheerfulness or hopelessness and Fly Away Home is free of all those things. Read More in our Featured Book Teachers Guide with discussion questions, extension activities, related books and links.