Can You Make A Difference?
The story begins with,
“All over the world, the news told and told and retold of anger and hatred -- People against people.”The main character, a little biracial girl with brown hair, is frightened by everything she is hearing, seeing and feeling. So she goes to her papa, a white-skinned man, and asks what she can do to make the world a better place. He takes her to the subway and they say hello to people and ride the train through the underground tunnels. By doing this the girl and her father are brave and kind and have won a battle to overcome fear for themselves and for the people of the world.
But the little girl still watches the news and is still afraid so she goes to her mother, a brown-skinned woman, and asks her what she can do to make the world better. Her mama takes her to their local grocery store to buy some things for dinner,
“because one person doesn’t represent a family or a race or the people of a land.”So together the girl and her mama fix dinner and the family sit down to eat together.
At the table, the girl informs her mom and dad that she wants to do something on her own. She would like to walk the dog by herself. The parents let her go. By doing so they
“. . . sent a message to the world. They would not live in fear.”As the girl leaves her apartment, a dark-skinned boy across the hall opens the door so she asks him to come with her since two people together are stronger than one. The boy, girl, and dog are happy to be out. They've learned to be brave, gentle, strong and kind to all living things.
What Concerned Me: While I understand any effort to improve a situation can help, this book lost my support by stressing how scary and full of hatred the world is. And the efforts to help the world seemed to be mostly focused on how this family was eliminating fear for themselves.
Not a good book for kids, in my opinion, because
- Why encourage them to focus on fear and an angry world?
- The story concludes with the idea that to improve the world, one need only carry on and be kind, which seems a bit self-important and unrealistic.
- Very didactic
Author: Holly M. McGhee
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2017
- Approx. Words: 387
- Ages: 5 - 8
- Pages: 40