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Each Kindness

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  2,736 ratings  ·  684 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
31st out of 121 books — 1,175 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 WoodsonBoxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
Picture Books About Kindness
4th out of 70 books — 21 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 11, 2014 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Susan Erhardt
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
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
Destinee Sutton
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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.
Richie Partington
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 5 of 5 stars
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
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
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
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.
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.
Alex Baugh
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
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
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
Amy Timmerman
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,
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
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
Marybeth Batie
A girl named Maya is a new girl in Ms. Albert’s class. When she tries to make friends with a girl in her class, she is rejected. Throughout the story this girl and her two best friends make fun of Maya for her ragged clothes and toys, and they refuse to play any games with her. One day, Ms. Albert talks about how a single act of kindness can have a ripple effect. Before the girl realizes she should have been kinder to Maya, she didn’t return back to the classroom. This story focuses on a girl wi ...more
I adored the illustrations. They were surpassingly wonderful, and perfect with the story. The story is unrepentantly sad, which I'm so in favor of. Real life rarely offers one the chance to make it all right in cases like this, and books that promise that ability are fairy tales. The unresolved, minor chord that this book ends upon makes it beautiful, poignant, and perhaps most importantly, something that lingers.
Julia Drescher

What a beautiful story to read to children. Chloe and her classmates learn the importance of being kind. She realizes that she has nothing to state when asked to list a kind act she has performed. When a new girl (Maya) is teased or ignored by all the other kids, Chloe has not acted any differently. Not until the teacher's discussion does Chloe try to make things right with Maya, except that she is already gone. She has moved away with her family.

I really like that there is no art
Terribly sad, very clearly written. Not something I'm excited about for the Newbery, but it wouldn't be out of place there. I liked it much, much better than The Hundred Dresses (which I've never gotten the appeal of). Of course, the ending that's so sad is actually the easier ending--much easier than Chloe actually having to follow through on her desire to be kind--but, well, it's a short book.
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.
Monica Edinger
There are a lot of well-intentioned books featuring issues of exclusion among children of different ages. This one of them is for me the most transcendent. Woodson and Lewis take the issue to a remarkable level of emotional depth and truth. Outstanding. My longer blog post here.
Katie Levin
Each kindness is about a little girl in elementary school who has a new girl join her class. Instead of being welcoming and kind, she is distant and unfriendly to her new classmate Maya. She and her classmates make fun of Maya because she wears clothes that are second hand and continue to be mean to her for weeks on end. Pretty soon, Maya stops coming to school and she starts to feel bad about not being nice and welcoming Maya. Her teacher explains why it is important to be kind to others and sh ...more
Jasmine Yanich
Each Kindness, a book by Jacqueline Woodson, told the story of a young girl (Maya) who was new to a school and how she tried to become friends with some of the other students but no one would play with her simply because she was different. She tried to befriend one girl in particular, Chloe, but Chloe was the same as everyone else. She did not want to become friends with the new girl because she was different. In the end Maya moves away and Chloe is left feeling sad because she was finally going ...more
Brittany Martz
Jacqueline Woodson did a great job writing the book Each Kindness. It is an interesting book relating to friendship and respect between students in a classroom. In the book, Maya is the new girl in school who tries to fit in with the other students in her class. On Maya’s first day at her new school, she sits down next to Chloe who immediately rejects her. Although Chloe never gives up trying to make new friends she is continually rejected by the other students. One day when Maya did not come to ...more
Alyssa Becker
Each Kindness; written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis; Copyright 2012; 31 pg.
*2014 IRA Teachers' Choices*

This story was honestly heart-wrenching. As educators we are taught to think about the background reasons children dress, act, and learn the way that they do. This book challenges the morality of young readers' actions by showing multiple instances in which a student had the choice to wither ignore or be nice to the new student Maya. The only downfall of this book was how a
Stacy Countee
This is a wonderful picture book that tackles issues that children deal with in elementary school such as, kindness, friendship, rejection, bullying, and empathy. In the story the new girl Maya is rejected by her peers at school because she does not fit in with the other girls. She is excluded from groups because of her worn clothes, rugged shoes, and unkempt hair. Maya makes an attempt to befriend Chloe and the other girls at school, but is rejected and bullied. It is not until the class discus ...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.” 10 likes
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