Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Interest Level: Grades 1-5
From the Book Jacket: Chloe doesn't really know why she turns away from the new girl, Maya, when Maya tries to befriend her. And every time Maya asks if she can play with Chloe and the other girls, the answer is always no. So Maya ends up playing alone. And then one day she's gone.
When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the opportunity that's been lost. How much better could it have been if she'd just shown Maya a little kindness and opened her heart to friendship?
Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is going to be one of the most important books I read to students this year. It will definitely be one of my favorites. It came in the mail this morning and I just had to blog about it today because it is a MUST for your bookshelf.
This is a powerful story PACKED FULL of life lessons. A new student Maya is treated horribly by her classmates. She tries making friends with the other students but is rejected and becomes a target because of her economic status. Students will feel sadness as you read this story - because they will be filled with an overwhelming empathy for Maya. In the end, we never know the full damage that may have been caused to Maya because she moves. We can surely guess though. However, it's Chloe who teaches us the lesson. She had shunned Maya but is filled with guilt, remorse, and emotional pain as she becomes aware of her own hurtful behavior. She is never able to make amends. I cannot wait for the discussion this will create. If we can teach our children to live their lives in complete kindness - hopefully they will not have to learn this lesson the hard way.
What an AMAZING teaching tool!
A Link to This Book: