Getting Involved in the Community
- (Responsibility) Just a Dream, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990). Young Walter is careless, littering and refusing to sort the trash for recycling. When he dreams about a future created by actions like his own, he decides to change his ways. The next night, he dreams about a very different- and much more pleasant future.
- (Compassion) Washing the Willow Tree Loon, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (New York: Simon and Schuster). This book recounts the efforts of ordinary citizens who join together to rescue birds caught in an oil spill. Following the rescue of one bird, a loon that lives in a willow tree, the book’s creator show how painstaking the work is, as well as how important and rewarding.
- (Courage) The Story of Ruby Bridges, by Robert Coles, illustrated by George Ford (New York: Scholastic, 1995). Ruby Bridges was a first-grader when she became a pioneer, the first black child to attend an all-white school in New Orleans. Guided by her family, her faith, and a courage beyond her years, she continued attending school, even when she had to pass a mob on her way into the building.
- (Courage) Teammates, by Peter Golenbock, illustrated by Paul Bacon (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990). This book tells the story of how Jackie Robinson came to be the first African American player in Major League Baseball, as well as what life was like for him in his early days with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The book also highlights the actions of Peewee Reese, who stuck up for Robinson when other players and fans heaped abuse on him.
- (Respect) A Day’s Work, by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Ronald Himler (New York: Clarion Books, 1994). Young Francisco finds work for himself and his grandfather, but the work involves gardening, something they know nothing about. After a long day of work, they discover the have pulled up the plants instead of the weeds. When his grandfather insists that they correct the mistake, Francisco gets a lesson in important values and renewed respect for his grandfather.
- (Responsibility, Courage) Freedom’s Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Stories, edited by Ellen Levine (New York: Avon, 1994). Editor Levine presents powerful excerpts from interviews with 30 African Americans who were active as young people in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. These stories provide a window into both the positive and negative legacies of race relations in our country. They also stand as evidence that young people can make a difference.
- (Responsibility) Checking on the Moon, by Jenny Davis (New York: Orchard Books, 1991). This book recounts the events of one summer in the life of Cab Jones. Cab and her older brother have been sent to stay with their grandmother near Pittsburgh while their mother tours Europe with her new husband, a concert pianist. Crime on the street becomes a neighborhood issue, and the neighbors band together to fight, through neighborhood walks and a vigil.
- (Compassion, Courage) Just Like Martin, By Ossie Davis (New York: Simon Schuster, 1992). This book recounts the story of a young African American boy who wants to emulate Martin Luther King, Jr. by participation in the civil rights movement and being nonviolent. The child’s father, who served in Korea, feels that nonviolence won’t work and fears his son will be hurt if he participates in demonstrations. Despite the restrictions place on him by his father, young Stone finds a variety of ways to help his community.
- (Respect, Compassion) The Unsinkable Molly Malone, by Mary Anderson (San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991). Molly Malone is an unusual 16 year old. Not only does she supplement her family income by selling her artwork on the street and take social and economic issues so seriously than many of her friends do not understand her, she also gives art lessons to children in a homeless motel. When two of her young students suffer traumas, she decides that she must do more to help them. She also discovers that, while some people think she is too serious, other admire and respect her for who she is.
- (Responsibility) The Weirdo, by Theodore Taylor (Orland, FL: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991). This book is the story of Samantha Sanders and Chip Clews, who work together to solve two murders and to extend a federal ban on hunting bears in the Powhatan National Wildlife Refuge. Their efforts include preparing posters, discussing their views at a public meeting, and providing testimony before government officials.