Welcome to KidzBookReview. Who doesn’t appreciate having someone recommend a great book? Especially a book that offers a teachable moment, an interesting journey, or a fun escape?
YesKidzCan! will regularly provide kids' book reviews about acts of kindness or the spirit of giving that are appropriate for kids (grades K-5). Read on to see our book recommendations and for ways to generate discussions.
Tell us what you think of our selections and give us your suggestions. Just click here to send us your children's book reviews. We would like to feature your recommendations! Whether working on kids' community service projects or reading about giving back, we hope YesKidzCan! helps you bring community service home!
Before you start a conversation, we suggest that you read your book before your kids do. While a subject, character or theme may inspire one child, another child may not relate to it as well. Better that you know the details and are prepared in advance. Depending on each kids’ reading levels, you can read the book to your kids, with your kids, or let them take it on independently. If you are interested in talking about the book, here are a few approaches for getting some good dialogue going.
How Did This Make You Feel? Ask the kids to react to a specific event, dialogue, or the book overall.
Can You Find Some Common Ground? Ask the kids to point out ways they are like a specific character or had a similar experience.
What Does Your Crystal Ball Say? Ask the kids if they knew how the story was going to end. You can ask them to stop reading part way through the book, and have them predict. Another option is to have them complete the book, and ask if they knew what was coming or if they were surprised.
What’s Up with That? Give the kids an opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of the book they did not understand. They can write down questions as they are reading or save them until they are done!
For 4 to 7 Year Olds:
Crinkleroot's Guide to Giving Back to Nature By Jim Arnosky
Award winning author and naturalist Jim Arnosky takes young readers on a journey through the seasons in his latest book. The wise and eccentric Crinkleroot guides readers through the natural world, takes them on a journey that explores the seasons, and gives them examples of things they can do in their own backyards to protect the environment.
The Lemonade Ripple By Paul Reichert
The Lemonade Ripple is “a sweet story of kindness and charity.” Young Caroline falls out of a lemon tree and ends up in the hospital where she sees a friend who is confined to a wheelchair. What happens next is a ripple effect of kind acts set in motion by a tree-top tumble!
Determined to buy a new wheelchair for Shannon, Caroline creates a lemonade stand to raise funds. The next day, two other friends, inspired by Caroline’s efforts, launch a neighborhood coin drive to raise more money. The ripple effect continues at a doggie daycare, then a charity car wash, and culminates with the final event – a paddle race with the entire Riverton community. Each activity is bigger than the last, and when they count all the money raised and buy Shannon her wheelchair, Caroline can hardly believe how one girls’ fall from a tree could end up with a community’s lifted spirits!
Nubs, The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine, and a Miracle
By Brian Dennis, Kirby Lawson, and Mary Nethery
Nubs is a special little dog of the Iraqi war who meets up with Marine Major Brian Dennis and his team at the border of Iraq and Syria. When the team relocates miles away, Nubs is determined to find his new friend, and the dog treks across the treacherous desert for 70 miles. Friends and family were so moved by the story, they raised several thousand dollars to rescue Nubs so he could begin a new chapter of his life with Dennis when he returned home to San Diego. This unbelievably true story is an amazing testament to the loyalty and love between animals and humans. (Great for kids ages 10+, too!)
The Kindness Quilt
By Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Mrs. Bloom reads to her class of young rabbits the Aesop’s fable about the mouse who removes a thorn from a lion’s paw. The teacher gives the class an assignment of performing an act of kindness (like the mouse) and drawing a picture of it. One student, Minna, performs many kind acts but cannot decide which to illustrate. She finally decides to draw many pictures and patch them together in a paper quilt. Her classmates and other classes join in and add their drawings. Eventually, the quilt grows in size and takes over the bulletin board and the hallway. Children will enjoy the story and wonderful illustrations, and parents and teachers will value the book’s heartfelt message.
For 8 to 10+ Year Olds:
A young man from New York travels back to his hometown, a remote tribal village in western Kenya, and tells his family and the other Maasai people that “he has brought with him one story. It has burned a hole in his heart.” Everyone sits quietly in disbelief as he shares the tragedy of 9/11. Beautiful illustrations bring to life the exquisite Kenyan landscape and the Maasai community’s great sadness upon hearing of the story. To honor and comfort America, the village plans a special ceremony to present their greatest gift to an American diplomat -- 14 cows. This magnanimous gesture helps a to heal a heartsick nation and spread hope and friendship.
By Katie Smith Milway
A young boy, Kojo, lives with his mother in Ghana, Africa and survives by selling firewood. They have very little money but one day, Kojo receives a small loan. He uses the money to buy a hen. They eat some of the hen eggs and sell the extras. Soon, he earns enough money to buy more hens, get a bigger loan, and build a poultry farm that creates jobs and helps his community. This book shows how big change can start with something small. It is based on a true story of Kwabena Darko whose life story is shared at the end of the book.
The Hundred Dresses
By Eleanor Estes
Wanda’s classmates tease her about her Polish name and the faded blue dress she wears to school every day. Wanda tells them she has 100 beautiful dresses at home. The girls mock Wanda every day until she does not show up at school. She has moved away and only then do her classmates learn the truth about the dresses and the mistakes they have made. While written in 1944, this beautiful Newbury Award winner conveys to this day a timeless lesson of the importance of courage and the generosity of spirit. Girls and boys love this book!