In this installment of the ValueTales series, Ann Donegan Johnson helps us appreciate the responsible character of Ralph Bunch (1904-1971).
The book introduces young Ralph, who grew up poor in a tumbledown house in Detroit. He worked at selling papers to "do his share" to bring in extra money for his family. When he saw something in his neighborhood that was unfair, Ralph tried to make it right. And he insisted that other people treat him fairly, too. As an adult, Ralph worked for the government, trying to fix poverty and similar problems in other countries. He helped negotiate a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians that lasted for over twenty years.
Like other books in the ValueTales series, this book uses a real-life person to exemplify an important value. It is suitable for reading by children in the later elementary school grades. A "Historical Facts" section at the book's end summarizes Bunche's life in a single-page bio form suitable for adults.
Closing quote: "When you see something that needs to be done, do you take care of it? If you do, you're responsible, and people are responsible to you, too. And chances are that this might make you happier. Just like our good friend Ralph Bunche." (pp. 61-62)