In a world that often seems as if most people only care for themselves, it can be a bit intimidating to raise children who are able to see the good in their fellow humans. Violence is widespread, people with opposing viewpoints resort to arguments instead of good-natured discussions, and the sheer force of consumerism drives many to do crazy things. (remembering recent Black Fridays…)
Same Kind of Different As Me for Kids, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, is the perfect way to introduce what a difference one person can make in someone’s life just by lending a helping hand.
The story tells the true tale of Denver Moore, a Depression-era sharecropper, who moves to the city after a long, hard life, only to find hardship once he gets there. Living in a box under a bridge, this formerly good-natured man becomes callous and gruff with anyone he comes across. Eventually, he meets someone who is not only kind to him, but tells him the most important words he’ll ever hear:
“God loves you, and so do I.”
This one interaction begins a lifetime friendship with Ron and Debbie Hall, who not only save him, but inspire him to make as much of a difference as they did.
As I was reading this to my kids, the first comment they made was in reference to the colorful illustrations.
These illustrations are not only beautiful, but are special, in particular, because Ron Hall and Denver Moore created them together.
The story cuts right to the heart and easily draws you in as someone who is in Denver’s corner. Besides the hope-inducing moral of the story, there is so much additional information about what it was like to live in those days. My kids really found that aspect very interesting.
I highly recommend this book to parents of preschoolers through upper elementary school. Not only is it a great kickstarter for children to mobilize and do something for others, but it’s a great reminder to parents as we’re reading it that there really are some genuine, loving people in this world.
And that’s enough to give anyone something to hope for.
(Disclaimer- I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)