When a new student joins their class, Chloe and most of the other kids shun the little girl. And we wonder why. Maya is a little different. She wears hand-me-down clothes and plays with old-fashioned toys like jacks. Each time Maya makes an effort to be friendly and join in with Chloe and her clique, they turn away. Eventually, Maya stops trying, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even the smallest acts of kindness have a ripple effect in the world, Chloe is ashamed by her actions and the missed opportunity for friendship. She ponders how things could have been better if she'd only shown a little kindness toward Maya.
This is one of those rare children's picture books that doesn't feel the need to force a happy ending. Lovely, melancholy, thought-provoking and sure to provoke in-depth discussions of the nature of kindness and caring. Beautiful illustrations as well.
Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Published by Nancy Paulsen Books. 2012.