Monday, October 24, 2011
This is a nice collection of stories which touches on topics from bi-racial adoption and bullying to overcoming the tragedies of 9/11 and natural disasters through giving and paying it forward.
While touching on these topics, this collection for middle and teen readers shares the common theme of being stories about children dealing with real life struggles, and how kindness and empathy can turn someone's life around for the better.
Here's a quick breakdown of the stories:
* "My Birthday is September Eleven" - The title story of the collection is about a boy who was born on 9/11/01 and finds it hard to celebrate his birthday because of the tragic events of that day.
* "Zebra Boy" - A bi-racial boy stands up to a bully because of the support from his best friend.
* "The Good Samaritan" - An anonymous donor contributes the money necessary to help a group of fifth-graders pay for a life-saving surgery for a classmate.
* "No More Hunger" - Ronald becomes impoverished after a devastating hurricane destroys his village in Haiti. Unable to survive on his own, he is rescued from certain death by a kind stranger.
* "A New Life" - A bi-racial boy finally escapes a difficult past when he is adopted by a caring couple.
The stories are well-written and can be useful for inspiring an excellent discussion between middle and teen readers and their parents and teachers.
As I read the stories, I kept thinking of Gandhi's quote: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." I think these stories hold that kind of potential for young readers. They may be inspired to make a positive difference in someone's life by either contributing financially to a cause, showing empathy for others or even standing up beside someone being treated unjustly.
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