Each Kindness

Each Kindness, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, is a nominee for the 14-15 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

Each Kindness is a book that should be read by everyone, everywhere. Like the amazing Wonder by R.J. Palacio, this book addresses the importance of kindness, and that’s definitely something that all of us could use more of.

In this amazing book, readers are introduced to Maya, a new girl in class who doesn’t have the finest clothes or toys, but she tries her hardest to fit in and be liked. The other students, however, ignore Maya or make fun of her, and the girl learns to keep to herself.

One day, though, Maya is not at school, and the teacher talks to the class about how important it is to be kind to one another. This lesson resonates with young Chloe, who never said a kind word to Maya. She looks for Maya the next day and the next, but Maya doesn’t return to school. When Chloe learns that Maya had to move away, she realizes that she’ll never have a chance to be kind to Maya, a girl who tried her hardest to be friendly.

Each Kindness shows all readers how powerful just one kind word or action could be. We never know what those around us are going through. One small kindness could truly make a difference to someone who is having a hard time. We should take every opportunity to be kind to others. After all, we never know when those opportunities will come to an end.

I highly recommend this book to all readers. I think this would be an especially good pick for classroom libraries, particularly those classrooms where bullying, teasing, or meanness have been ongoing problems. Each Kindness could just open some eyes about the importance of kindness and empathy.

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