With a title like “Each Kindness” and a cover illustration of young girl beside a quiet pond, I expected a heartwarming narrative on the power of kindness. Apparently Jacqueline Woodson had no interest in fulfilling my expectations.
Instead, I found a realistic account of a young girl that purposefully shuns the new kid in class. But, when it’s too late to repair the damage, she regrets it.
This book is break-the-mold refreshing on so many levels:
You expect a picture book with minority characters to be sanitized? Move along, no one’s covering up their moral warts here.
You want a clean ending wrapped in a happy bow? Check the Disney Channel.
You think sad stories have no place in elementary classrooms? Barny agrees. But kids know better from experience.
So why bother to read Each Kindness?
Because we all make mistakes.
Because it’s a valuable lesson born out of remorse.
Because we should forgive ourselves and move forward.