- Age Range: 5 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
- Lexile Measure: AD640L (What's this?)
- Series: Jane Addams Award Book (Awards)
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books; 1st edition (October 2, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399246525
- ISBN-13: 978-0399246524
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.4 x 11.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#3,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #31 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Values
- #64 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Emotions & Feelings
- #149 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Friendship
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Each Kindness (Jane Addams Award Book (Awards)) Hardcover – October 2, 2012
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Always on-target navigating difficulties in human relationships, Woodson teams up with Lewis to deal a blow to the pervasive practice-among students of all economic backgrounds-of excluding those less fortunate. When a new student arrives midterm, head down, with broken sandals, she sits right next to Chloe, an African American girl. The teacher introduces the pigtailed new student as Maya, but hardly anyone says hello, nor does Chloe give a welcoming smile. Lyrical and stylistically tight writing act in perfect counterpoint to the gentle but detailed watercolor paintings of a diverse rural classroom. Chloe's best friends "this year" call Maya "Never New" because her clothes are always secondhand. Each time the cheerful, independent Maya invites the clique members to play, they refuse. Woodson's writing, full of revelation and short on reckoning, gives opportunity for countless inferences and deep discussion and dovetails with the illustrations of children's facial expressions from surprising angles, expansive countryside views, and pools of water and windows, which invite readers to pause, reflect, and empathize. When their teacher invites them to throw a pebble in water and watch the ripples radiate to symbolize an act of kindness they share with the class, Chloe stops. Maya no longer is there. Her family has had to move. Had Chloe been kind even once? With growing income disparity, and bullying on the rise, this story of remorse and lost opportunity arrives none too soon.-Sara Lissa Paulson, American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
* "This quiet, intense picture book is about the small actions that can haunt. . . . Woodson's spare, eloquent free verse and Lewis' beautiful, spacious watercolor paintings tell a story for young kids that will touch all ages." — Booklist, starred review
"Unfolds with harsh beauty and the ominousness of opportunities lost. . . . The matter-of-fact tone of Chloe's narration paired against the illustrations' visual isolation of Maya creates its own tension. . . . Lewis dazzles with frame-worthy illustrations, masterful use of light guiding readers' emotional responses." — Kirkus Reviews
* “Always on-target navigating difficulties in human relationships, Woodson teams up with Lewis to deal a blow to the pervasive practice–among students of all economic backgrounds–of excluding those less fortunate. . . . Lyrical and stylistically tight writing act in perfect counterpoint to the gentle but detailed watercolor paintings. . . . Gives opportunity for countless inferences and deep discussion . . . invite[s] readers to pause, reflect, and empathize. . . . With growing income disparity, and bullying on the rise, this story of remorse and lost opportunity arrives none too soon.” — School Library Journal, starred review
* “Combining realism with shimmering impressionistic washes of color, Lewis turns readers into witnesses as kindness hangs in the balance. . . . Woodson . . . again brings an unsparing lyricism to a difficult topic.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Woodson’s fluid writing and deft particularity makes the girls’ bullying rebuffs of Maya absolutely heartbreaking. . . . In his watercolors, Lewis embraces the effects of light like an Impressionist, while his creative, often cinematic uses of point of view add resonance to the story. . . . Offers an alternative view to rosier stories of forgiveness and bully-victim friendships.” — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Beautifully heartbreaking . . . sure to touch a tender spot. . . . The situation should resonate with young people who are sure to recognize themselves in either Chloe or Maya. Lovely watercolors perfectly complement this simple yet strong story.” — Library Media Connection
“Woodson’s affecting story, with its open ending, focuses on the withholding of friendship rather than outright bullying, and Lewis reflects the pensive mood in sober watercolors . . . in subtly detailed portraits. . . . A good conversation starter.” — The Horn Book
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a powerful story PACKED FULL of life lessons. A new student Maya is treated horribly by her classmates. She tries making friends with the other students but is rejected and becomes a target because of her economic status. Students will feel sadness as you read this story - because they will be filled with an overwhelming empathy for Maya. In the end, we never know the full damage that may have been caused to Maya because she moves. We can surely guess though. However, it's Chloe who teaches us the lesson. She had shunned Maya but is filled with guilt, remorse, and emotional pain as she becomes aware of her own hurtful behavior. She is never able to make amends. I cannot wait for the discussion this will create. If we can teach our children to live their lives in complete kindness - hopefully they will not have to learn this lesson the hard way.
One might think this replays the classic story line of the challenge that every "new" kid faces. But it is exceeds that think-how-the-shunned-kid-feels meme as the children rebuff her repeated efforts to break into their circle. Instead, it asks the reader to imagine being the child who chose unkindness, who joined the taunting, who derided and jeered.
After the teacher uses a pebble-dropped-in-water to demonstrate how one act ripples in an ever-widening circle, Chloe undergoes a change of heart. She wants to include the outcast girl. She anticipates making amends, only to discover, it is too late.
The book ends with the words, Chloe "watched the water ripple as the sun set through the maples and the chance of a kindness with Maya became more and more forever gone." The final illustration shows Chloe in a lush, lovely pond side spot. The beauty contrasts with Chloe's uncomfortable realization that it is too late to make amends for her ugly treatment of Maya. The reader feels the weight of that understanding. There is no and-she became-Maya's-best-friend easy answer.
The message is clear. Sometimes, do overs are not possible. Some mistakes and lost opportunities cannot be corrected. Our choices matter. Powerful. True. Important. This book merits every award it won.
(Memories of the classic story The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes illustrated by Louis Slobodkin popped to mind, because it deals with a similar story line. Each Kindness makes its point with eloquent brevity and contemporary, visually appealing illustrations.)
Adoption-attuned (AQ) Lens: Our kids certainly understand, in a very personal way that choices have permanent consequences. This book can easily open conversations about the decisions made by their birth parents. (Not in terms of a cruelty done to them but with an intent to help kids understand that adoption was in no way their fault but rather is a decision made by adults for very adult reasons.)
Each Kindness is in a class by itself. So well crafted and lovingly written, it expresses the frustrating feelings of "what should have been said or done"
There is so much here to discuss for classes who really listen to this masterpiece! You ache for this little girl, and how she feels about things not done.
I have been waiting for this book since The Other Side first came out.
I am really looking forward to sharing this gem with parents, teachers and kids this year starting in Florida in January.
Thank you Ms. Woodson for your inspiring words, your rhythmic dialogue, and for the best book of the year!!