As Anne C. Bromley's The Lunch Thief starts out, it's
protagonist, Rafeal, is hungry. The new kid, Kevin, has taken his
lunch. The next two days the same thing happens to other kids.
Fortunately Rafael is able to reflect rather than fighting or
reporting the theft. On a ride with his mother he sees something that
gives him a whole different perspective.
Many of our kids go to school with kids who are homeless,
chronically hungry, or in other precarious situations. Seeing only
actions can make them perceive these children as "mean" or "not nice,"
leading to reactions that further marginalize them. This wonderful
book can help even very young children empathize better and reflect
rather than reacting in haste.
A special note to teachers: some long standing assignments
carry assumptions that aren't always true. The diorama project is a
classic. Shoes come in shoe boxes if you can afford to shop at the
Mall or KMart, but not if you buy at Goidwill or Salvation Army.
On a personal note, my girls, Paula and Darcie, had good first days in
their new principalships. This pleases me no end.
A great big shout out goes out to my dear Christine who works hard to
help homeless kids stay in school and get them what they need.
Julia Emily Hathaway
Sent from my iPod