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Each Kindness

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,589 Ratings  ·  837 Reviews
Each kindness makes the world a little better

Chloe and her friends won't play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different--she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya plays alone, and then stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe's teacher gives a lesson about how even sm
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Nancy Paulsen Books
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Wonder by R.J. PalacioThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine ApplegateThe Fault in Our Stars by John GreenLiar & Spy by Rebecca SteadThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Newbery 2013
30th out of 113 books — 1,218 voters
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadZen Ties by Jon J. MuthHorton Hears a Who! by Dr. SeussEach Kindness by Jacqueline WoodsonEnemy Pie by Derek Munson
Picture Books About Kindness
4th out of 71 books — 23 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Susan Erhardt
Feb 12, 2013 Susan Erhardt rated it it was amazing
My husband read this to my daughter's fourth grade class recently, and they were disappointed by the ending. I, however, think that is one reason it is such a great book. Not only does it demonstrate to kids that their actions have consequences, but it also shows them that sometimes you don't get a second chance to make things right when you make the wrong choice. Every time they leave a child out, it hurts.

I had personal experience with changing to a new school in fifth grade and being not only
Feb 11, 2014 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a difficult story - one that rings so true, but is probably a bit hard for many children. But it's an important story, too, whether a child is on either side of the story. The book is about bullying, but it's the subtle kind of bullying, the ignoring and whispering and refusal to acknowledge someone. I think this kind of bullying can be the worst, because there's no physical harm, but the emotional scars can be even deeper.

We read this story together and our girls were so sad. They coul
I find Each Kindness incredibly sad and even at times depressing, mostly because when we moved to Canada from Germany in 1976 (I was ten), I was definitely very much like Maya. Although my teacher did everything she could to include me, to many of my so called classmates, I was simply the little Nazi (the fact that I was shy, a bit uncoordinated, spoke with an accent and had the tendency to sometimes say the wrong things at the wrong times did not help matters either).

While I do appreciate (and
Love Jacqueline Woodson. Did not like this book.

I think I'm the only one.

From page one, the tone of this book put me off. Even though she wasn't making a speech, it felt so didactic I just couldn't like it. In my mind, the narrator droned on in a depressing monotone. The story was entirely hopeless. There was no spark of light at the end, no spot of hope. My imaginary last line was, "And then the entire rest of my life sucked, too."

Harsh. Yes, I know. It felt harsh when I read it. It's The 100 D
Maybe because Maya's new, maybe because she seems a little different from the rest of her classmates, or maybe for some secret, never-revealed reason, Chloe and her friends ignore the new girl's offerings of friendship. They refuse to play with her or even return her smiles and call her names because of her hand-me-down clothes. When Chloe fails to appear for class on the same day that the students' teacher gives a lesson on the ripple effects of our actions, Chloe realizes too late that she has ...more
Alex Baugh
Jan 25, 2013 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: randomly-reading
One of my favorite books of 2012 is Jacqueline Woodson's Each Kindness, and now, I am happy to say, it has won the 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award given by the Cooperative Children's Book Center.

The story begins one snowy, wintry day when a new girl named Maya is introduced to Chloe's elementary school class. The first thing Chloe notices is that Maya's clothes are shabby and she has on spring shoes in winter. Sitting next to Chloe, Maya makes one friendly overture after another but each time Chlo
Destinee Sutton
Oct 23, 2012 Destinee Sutton rated it really liked it
We're reading Estes' The Hundred Dresses for book club in December, so this new picture book immediately struck me as similar. They're both stories about a new girl in school who is treated as an outcast because her clothes are shabby and she seems culturally different from the other kids. And (spoiler alert) in both books the poor bullied girl moves away before the mean girls can realize how terrible they've been and apologize.

I think what makes Each Kindness special is that it distills the es
Lisa Vegan
Dec 05, 2012 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa by: Terri Lynn
This story is incredibly mournful and poignant. I was near tears throughout this book; I would have been as deeply affected when I was a child. It reminded me so much of the short children’s novel The Hundred Dresses, which touched me deeply as an elementary school student. Maybe it’s because I just read this picture book, but at the moment it feels like an even more powerful story to me.

I do wish the teacher had done the kindness exercise earlier, preferably immediately noticing what was happe
Sassy School Counselor
What I love about this book is that it doesn't have a happy ending. To open this lesson I had the students take out a piece of paper and then crumble it up. Then I asked them to smooth it out so that there were no wrinkles. Then we discussed how the wrinkles are like imprints. That when we insult and hurt it leaves wrinkles and no matter how many "sorries" or things we do to "smooth it out" the scars are still there. At the end of the book we had a brief discussion about kindness, but also our r ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing
Wow, this just makes you want to cry when you think about missed opportunities of kindness. We've all been there. However, I think there is so much to learn about how we handle these missed acts of kindness and how we should go forward. What a short work of words but so powerful. This a great book for 5-9 year olds especially.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Jul 07, 2012 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it it was amazing
I had a lump in my throat towards the end of this book. You truly feel the emotion of this book as you read it and the regret that the main character feels for not having reached out in kindness and friendship. Great for discussion starter in 2nd grade on up.
Richie Partington
Oct 24, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
Richie’s Picks: EACH KINDNESS by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis, ill., Penguin/Nancy Paulsen, October 2012, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-24652-4

“I hope when you decide
Kindness will be your guide
Put a little love in your heart
And the world will be a better place
And the world will be a better place
For you, and me, you just wait and see”
--Jackie DeShannon

“The next day, Maya’s seat was empty.
In class that morning, we were talking about kindness.
Ms. Albert had brought a big bowl into class and filled it wit
Aug 12, 2013 Margaret rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Margaret by: E.B. Lewis
Shelves: picture-book
8/8/13 ** This year I was able to read this book to my fourth graders in the first week of school. Fabulous response. "That's a...sad ending. I was surprised." "That's a happy ending, she knew what she needed to do." If you haven't read this book, what are you waiting for???

11/6/2012 ** I had the fantastic opportunity to meet E.B. Lewis and Jacqueline Woodson last June in New York at BEA. Lewis told me about a wonderful book that he'd just finished illustrating for Woodson - this one. I was so d
Karen Witzler
I liked this book a lot. I thought that the slightly out -of -focus aspect of the illustrations gave it the quality of memory, and this is what the book is about; Chloe's deeply regretful memory of a lesson that she did not learn soon enough. I loved that it was painfully realistic about this common form of bullying and that no saccharine ending was employed -- or for that matter, a saccharine prelude in the form of a lesson from the teacher (who may have regrets of her own here). Maya was clear ...more
Sandra Lopez
May 23, 2016 Sandra Lopez rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-books
This book was a little sad to read, the story is about a girl called Maya who is new at school, but because she looks different and dresses different, the kids at her school don't wanna play or talk to her. She tries play with them but is always ignored. The other character in the book, Chloe at first she doesn't like Maya because she looks different, later on she wants to talk to her or play with her but she doesn't do it. This book is about how kids can be cruel sometimes when they see someone ...more
Jun 29, 2012 Dave rated it it was amazing
I was in my editor's office yesterday and I saw this book from across the room. I first picked it up simply because I was stunned that the cover art was a painting not a photo.

Then I read the book. Wow! The story was just as real as the art. Jaded as I am, I was expecting the ending to be predictable and sappy. Wrong.

By not going with a traditional "feel good picture book ending," the reader can't help but feel the same emotion as the narrator.

Talk about "show, don't tell": This is how it's d
Dec 02, 2012 Kendra rated it really liked it
What a powerful book. I love that it's not a happy ending because that's the way life goes. You don't always get second chances. You have to be kind always. As a girl who moved around a lot I would have really appreciated this book in grade school and imagine there are plenty of others who would have, too. Would be a great one to share in a classroom on a kindness theme.
Jan 22, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing
A lovely, simple story about kindnesses left undone - this would be a great picture book read aloud to start a discussion of classroom climate, bullying, and empathy.
Nov 15, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: feelings, bullying
I now have overwhelming feelings of nonspecific guilt.
Dec 31, 2014 Ricki rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful story that would be FANTASTIC for the classroom. Students of any age can learn from this book, and I would read it to my class on the very first day of school. It is easy to get caught up in drama and gossip, and Jackie Woodson reminds us how hurtful this can be. I am so glad that I own a copy of this book. I plan to read it to my son very often because the lessons are so important, and the story is simply stunning.

One of my favorite parts about this book is that it doesn't
Linda Lipko
Feb 27, 2016 Linda Lipko rated it really liked it
I'm on a quest to read all of Jacqueline Woodson's books. This newbery award winning author never disappoints.

Each Kindness is a small book that handles the subject of bullying, guilt, and the knowledge that one random act of kindness can make a difference. Conversely, one intentional act of cruelty leaves a scar long after the wound heals.

Woodson has a unique way with words -- ever so poetic -- with the ability to convey an important message without the need for hundreds of pages of text.

Jubilation Lee
Each Kindness reminded me very vividly of The Hundred Dresses, and it's perhaps a sign of how rarely this lesson comes up in children's books that The Hundred Dresses was the ONLY readalike I could think of.

The lesson, of course, is that if you're super mean to people, and later regret your behavior, there is 100% no guarantee you're going to be able to fix your mistakes.

Here, Chloe And Class are nasty as only little children can be, ignoring their (impoverished) new classmate Maya and her atte
Julie Hafner
Oct 01, 2015 Julie Hafner rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-538
Maya learns a hard lesson about inclusion and being good friend.This touching story will resonate with you long after you close the book. Maya's teacher explains that "Each kindness makes the world a little better." But is it too late for Maya to reap the benefits of her lesson learned? This Coretta Scott King Award winning story is the perfect way to start a conversation about friendship and kindness in the classroom.
Jul 13, 2016 Judi rated it really liked it
This was yet another title for my children's lit class. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the author's work before reading this book but I've heard good things about the author.
Upon opening the book, I was really surprised and impressed by the realistic tone and illustrations that accompanied this book. I loved *especially* that the children were well represented of all skin colors.

Chloe has been almost mean to the new girl at school, Maya. Chloe and her friends have been noticing the differ
Angela Germany
May 17, 2013 Angela Germany rated it it was amazing
This is a Powerful story and I love the profound ending. Kindness is like the ripples on water; kindness ripples out and has a positive chain reaction on others. It is bittersweet in a way with a hard lesson learned. “Like every girl somewhere – holding a small gift out to someone and that someone turning away from it.” When you are not kind, you may never know how deeply you hurt that person and you may never get the opportunity to make it right. Be kind to others.
Cleo White
Oct 12, 2015 Cleo White rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
“Each kindness…makes the whole world a little bit better.”

When I finished reading Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson, I couldn’t even say, “WOW!” because I was left speechless. What a haunting and compelling book about seizing each opportunity to share kindness with someone in the world. With captivating illustrations that portray each emotion written in the words, the reader feels the fear, anxiety, pain, guilt, resolve, and remorse of the characters in the story. In this story, young Chloe i
Amy Timmerman
Jun 18, 2015 Amy Timmerman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multicultural
1. As I was reading this book and was introduced to the character Maya, I thought maybe she was in a foster home because of the close she was wearing or the fact that she moves around a lot. My text to self connection to this story is that growing up my parents also did foster care.

2. This book is culturally specific because the illustrations show a variety of children from different cultures. It also paints a picture of different lifestyles of children. Some may come from middle class families,
Jun 11, 2015 April rated it it was amazing
1. Does anyone know what the word 'kindness' means? This book is about a new student who comes to school and no one will play with her or talk to her because of the clothes she wears or food she eats. We are all new to school and some of us are trying to make friends and get to know each other. How would you feel if kids wouldn't talk to you because of how you dressed or what you ate? The kids in this class do an activity with their teacher that we are going to do after we read this book. Listen ...more
Mar 01, 2016 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Chloe finds herself sitting next to a new girl in school named Maya. Maya does not have the newest shoes or designer clothes which causes many of the other students to dislike or ignore her. Chloe decides to follow her friends and ignore Maya. It is not until Maya leaves the school and the teacher does a lesson on the ripple effect of kindness, that Chloe realize she has been mean to the new girl.

This is a very powerful book which is relatable to students of many ages. Students in kindergarten
Oct 26, 2014 Erin rated it it was amazing
In Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson, we meet Maya, a new student to Chloe's class. It is winter time, and Maya's coat was open and her clothes looked "old and ragged." When Maya is placed next to Chloe, she turns and smiles at her. In the days that follow, Chloe turns and looks away each time Maya tries to smile. At recess, Maya tries to approach Chloe and her friends, but is ignored and laughed at after each attempt. Come the spring, Maya's chair is suddenly empty. Chloe's teacher brings in ...more
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I used to say I’d be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing.

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories a
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“This is what kindness does, Ms.Albert said. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.” 13 likes
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