Last Friday I reviewed a picture book for children about homelessness, Lily and the Paper Man, by Rebecca Upjohn. Today I’m following up with a brief review of a hands-on workbook for kids and how they can be part of the solution.
Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A.
Free Spirit Publishing, 2007
Suitable for Ages: 10 -17
Themes: Homelessness, Hunger, Understanding the problems, Taking action
Book Overview: Kids explore what others in the world (including young people) have done and are doing to address the issues, find out what their community needs, and develop a service project. The workbook includes facts, quotations, real-life examples, write-on pages, resources, a note to adults—and a lot of inspiration to get out there and make a difference in the world. Includes exclusive interviews with author and activist Francis Moor Lappé, and Lindsey Lee Johnson, author of Soul Moon Soup, the story of a girl living on the streets with her mother.
Why I like this guide: Children are caring and compassionate and want to help when they see a need. Cathryn Berger Kaye, M.A., has carefully designed this exceptional guide to show four major stages children must learn to be of service: Preparation, Action, Reflection and Demonstration. Children first learn all they can about hunger and homelessness in the Preparation stage. Once they prepare themselves they are encouraged to think about whether their Action is direct, indirect, advocacy or research. The third stage involves Reflection on what they have learned to decide what they want to do. The final stage, kids Demonstrate what they want to accomplish and what unique skills they have to give to the project. This is an excellent workbook for parents, teachers and youth group leaders to use at home, in the classroom, at church and in youth service programs. It will help children focus on both local and global issues. We are living during a time when the face of hunger and homelessness is rapidly changing. Children may see a family member or a neighbor suddenly hungry and homeless. Kaye’s guide empowers children to look at tough issues and take action.
Other Resources: Free Spirit Publishing has a How to Take Action! series by Cathryn Berger Kaye. There are guides for climate change and global warming, protecting and caring for animals, service learning, and kids helping kids to read and succeed. There is a teen guide for saving our oceans and waterways. Visit the Free Spirit Publishing website.