Illustration by Robert Casilla.  Copyright (c) by Houghton Mifflin Company.  
Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.  All rights reserved.
Illustration by Robert Casilla. © by Houghton Mifflin Co.
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 • Adoption
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Folktales, Legends & Poems
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Books in this category include stories about kinds of families and activities that families do, such as celebrating holidays, adopting children and communicating across generations.
This is whichCatvalue: 4
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1.   A Rose for Abby
Donna Guthrie (Author), Dennis Hockerman (Illustrator)
A young girl inspires her neighbors to help the homeless people in their community.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
2.   A Shelter in Our Car
Monica Gunning (Author), Elaine Pedlar (Illustrator)
When her father died, Zettie and her mother left their warm and comfortable home in Jamaica for an uncertain future in the United Sates. Zettie's mother can't find a steady job so they are forced to live in their car. But her mother's unwavering love, support, and gutsy determination give Zettie the confidence that, together, she and her mother can meet all challenges.
[Grade Level: 1 - 4]
3.   Changing Places: A Kid's View of Shelter Living
Margie Chalofsky (Author), Glen Finland (Author), Ingrid Klass (Illustrator), Judy Wallace (Author)
Personal narratives of homeless children.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
4.   Christmas Makes Me Think
Chandra Cox (Illustrator), Tony Medina (Author)
A young African-American boy reflects on the spirit of Christmas and thinks of ways he can share what he has with others.
5.   Erik Is Homeless
Keith Elliot Greenberg (Author), Carol Halebian (Illustrator)
A day in the life of a homeless child.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
6.   Fat Chance Thanksgiving
Patricia Lakin (Author), Stacey Schuett (Illustrator)
When their apartment burns down and they move to a much smaller place, Mama tells Carla they can't have a big Thanksgiving feast like the Pilgrims in Carla's book, but Carla figures out a way to make that happen.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
7.   Gettin' Through Thursday
Nneka Bennett (Illustrator), Melrose Cooper (Author)
Andre dreads Thursdays. Thursday is the day before Mama gets paid at work each week - and the day when money is tight and spirits are low for Andre and his older brother and sister. As report card day approaches, Andre is excited because he anticipates making the honor roll, and Mama has promised a royal party for just such an event. But to Andre's dismay, report card day falls on a Thursday. This is a tale of how, despite limited means, a single mother and her children find a creative way to celebrate a son's achievement.
[Grade Level: 2 - 6]
8.   Jar of Dreams
Written by
Yoshiko Uchida
A young girl watches her family cope with financial pressures and racial prejudice.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
9.   Jump at de Sun: The Story of Zora Neal Hurston
Lucy Ann Hurston (Author), A. P. Porter (Author)
The story of author Zora Neale Hurston and her battles against racism and poverty.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
10.   Just Enough Is Plenty: A Hanukkah Tale
Seymour Chwast (Illustrator), Barbara Diamond Goldin (Author)
A folktale about a poor family, a stranger and generosity.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
11.   Land of Hope
Written by
Joan Lowery Nixon
A young immigrant, arriving in New York City in 1902, almost abandons her dream of getting an education when she is forced to work in a sweatshop.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
12.   Madoulina: A Girl Who Wanted to Go to School
Written by
Joel Bognomo
Madoulina loves school but has to help her mother sell food in the marketplace this schoolyear instead. Her teacher speaks to her mother and makes an arrangement.
[Grade Level: Pre-K - 3]
13.   Rag Coat
Written by
Lauren A. Mills
A young girl proudly wears her new coat made of clothing scraps and tells her classmates the stories behind each piece of fabric.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
14.   Sam and the Lucky Money
Karen Chinn (Author), Ying-Hwa Hu (Illustrator), Cornelius Van Wright (Illustrator)
A young boy uses his New Year money to help a stranger.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
15.   Sam Y El Dinero De La Suerto (translation of Sam and the Lucky Money)
Karen Chinn (Author), Ying-Hwa Hu (Illustrator), Cornelius Van Wright (Illustrator)
A Spanish translation of the story of a young boy who must decide how to spend the lucky money he received for Chinese New Year.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
16.   Selavi, That Is Life: A Haitian Story of Hope
Written by
Youme Landowne
A homeless boy and his friends in Haiti build a home and a radio station where they can stay away from the military police and voice their own opinion. These children's families have either been killed or their houses are destroyed and they are forced to either live on the streets or in orphanages.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
17.   Space Travelers
Margaret Wild (Author), Gregory Rogers (Illustrator)
This book is about a homeless family consisting of a mother and her children. They live in the park and make do with what is around them until they can find a house of their own.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
18.   Stolen Dreams: Portraits of Working Children
Robert Conrow (Author), Lee Engfer (Author), David L. Parker (Author and Illustrator)
Photographs show the lives of working children around the world and the hardships they endure.
19.   The Hundred Dresses
Eleanor Estes (Author), Louis Slobodkin (Illustrator)
A young girl learns the realities of prejudice and classism while her classmates learn that hurting others is not ultimately satisfying.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
20.   The Storm: Students of Biloxi, Mississippi Remember Hurricane Katrina
Written by
Barbara Barbieri McGrath
Eleventh-grade Melissa Woodruff writes, "Everything in life is a privilege, not a right. And I never believed that until I lost it all." This is one of the many reflections included in this collection of stories, poems and artwork from 91 survivors of Hurricane Katrina in gardes K-12 from the Biloxi, Mississippi, area. The author organized "Books for Biloxi" to help restock the Biloxi school libraries after the devastation, and a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book are donated to Biloxi Public Schools.
[Grade Level: 3 & Up]
21.   The Workers' Detective: A Story About Dr. Alice Hamilton
Stephanie Sammartino McPherson (Author), Janet Schulz (Illustrator)
A story about Dr. Alice Hamilton, social worker and doctor, whose work brought attention to the health risks associated with certain jobs.
[Grade Level: 4 - 6]
22.   Those Shoes
Maribeth Boelts (Author), Noah Z. Jones (Illustrator)
"I have dreams about those shoes. Black high-tops. Two white stripes." All Jeremy wants is a pair of those shoes, the ones everyone at school seems to be wearing. But Jeremy’s grandma tells him they don’t have room for "want," just "need," and what Jeremy needs are new boots for winter. When Jeremy’s shoes fall apart at school, and the guidance counselor gives him a hand-me-down pair, the boy is more determined than ever to have those shoes, even a thrift-shop pair that are much too small. But sore feet aren’t much fun, and Jeremy comes to realize that the things he has — warm boots, a loving grandma, and the chance to help a friend — are worth more than the things he wants.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
23.   Tight Times
Barbara Shook Hazen (Author), Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)
A father loses his job and the family has difficult financial times.
[Grade Level: K - 3]
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