Kids don’t often get a chance to help others outside their families in meaningful ways. This book may change that.
Ancona’s focus is not on connecting readers with specific organizations but on showing kids the myriad ways they can make a difference, whether working with their parents, their friends, their schools, or people in their communities. A classroom’s students knit hats and scarves for the homeless; families harvest produce for soup kitchens; kids bag plums and snacks for needy families; a girl accompanies her dad when he delivers a hot meal to an elderly man; children help train dogs for service jobs; one boy helps another who is disabled to ski; children water young trees during a drought; mentors help younger students with schoolwork; a club cleans up their section of adopted roadway. Ancona gives a general idea of what each volunteer opportunity entails and how long it takes. Lots of pictures fill the spreads. The kids are named in the text, which gives the whole package a nicely personal feel—individuals are doing this work, not generic people. The children are focused and obviously trying their best, but they are also finding time for fun.
While this may be too didactic for many readers to choose on their own, it’s a sure bet for groups and families focused on doing some community service. (Nonfiction. 5-12)