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Reading for Life Part 7 - Books that Promote Positive Values

1. December, by Eve Bunting.
Simon and his mother await Christmas in their little cardboard box home. Late at night, an old woman knocks and asks if she can come into the warmth of their home. After giving her a cookie and their coat, Simon falls asleep. When he awakes, he sees an angel.
• Have you ever shared with someone when you didn’t want to share?
• Why should we be kind to people in need? How can you be kind to someone in your life?

2. Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, by Virginia Lee Burton.
This charming story takes the reader through transportation history and demonstrates responsibility and integrity through a vivid story about hard work.
• What’s something that you have worked very hard to do?
• Do you always finish the work you say you’re going to finish?

3. The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, by Chris Van Allsburg.
A naughty dog takes Alan on a chase to a magician’s house, where the dog disappears. Alan is faced with the difficult task of telling the truth.
• Can you think of a time that it was really hard for you to tell the truth?
• Why is it so important to tell the truth?

4. Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez.
As Maria helped her parents make tamales for a family celebration, she decided to play with her mother’s ring. Forgetting about the ring, she let it slip into one of the tamales. After she tried to eat her way out of trouble, she had an honest and humorous talk with her mother.
• Are there some things in your house that you need special permission to play with? Why is it important to obey rules that you don’t like?

5. Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister.
The Rainbow Fish learned via trial and error that being beautiful was not the best way to make friends. As he learned to share, he discovered a world of friends and a happier heart.
• How do you feel when people share with you? How do you feel when you share with others?

6. The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog by Mo Willems.
When Pigeon finds a hot dog, he can’t wait for lunch! That is, until a duck interrupts him. Watch as Pigeon struggles between hunger and sharing with his new . . . er . . . friend.
• Have you ever shared your lunch with someone? How did it feel?
• How can you share with someone today?

7. I Did It – I’m Sorry, by Caralyn and Mark Buehner.
These animal stories represent real life choices that children make every day. Within each story is a quiz to determine whether the choices help or hurt the animal’s friends.
• Which animal do you relate to the most?
• Have you had to make any hard choices this week?

8. The Summer my Father was Ten, by Pat Brisson.
A group of boys ruined Mr. Bellavista’s garden when they started playing baseball with tomatoes. It took a long time to rebuild a friendship with Mr. Bellavista, and learn the value of making amends.
• What did the boys do that was unkind and inconsiderate? What happened when the little boy offered to help Mr. Bellavista?
• How can you practice being kind?

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