Can We Help! Yes, you can! And it doesn’t matter if you are eight or eighteen years old—you can lend a hand to help make your community a better place.
John Cronin, an environmentalist, patrols the 315 miles of New York’s Hudson River on board the Riverkeeper, a 25-ft. shallow-drafted boat. Hired by concerned private citizens, John keeps watch for polluters and helps bring citizen lawsuits, lobbies with government officials for better laws and stricter enforcement, and educates the public about the need to protect the environment.
The glistening Hudson River was once horribly polluted; a glorious New York City garden was once a rubble-strewn lot; bears were once threatened in the Minnesota wilderness. What happened? Earth keepers came to the rescue, reversing the destruction of our natural resources and restoring places where fish swim, flowers bloom, and bears frolic.
When Sally Hobart Alexander loses Marit, her first dog guide, the entire family mourns. But for the author, this death means more than heartache–it means curtailed mobility. Fiercely independent, Sally Alexander finds “going sighted guide” or walking with a cane inadequate. She decides to return to The Seeing Eye, where she obtained Marit twelve years before, for another dog guide.
This is Sally Hobart Alexander’s own story as told by of her nine-year-old daughter. When she was in her twenties, a rare disease caused the author’s vision to diminish gradually over two years until it was gone. As Leslie Alexander says of her mother, “Mostly she’s like other mothers.” But she’s different not because she is blind, but because she camps out, plays the piano, tap dances, rides her bike and because she laughs a lot, especially at herself.
Most of the time, it’s fun to be a brother or sister to someone you can talk to, play with, and dream with. But when disagreements happen or problems come up, having a brother or sister isn’t so easy. Being the brother or sister of a child with special requirements can sometimes make things even harder.
Toah’s father is black, Shashi and Anil’s father is Asian Indian, Jesse’s mother is Chinese, and Megan’s father is himself biracial—a mixture of Cherokee and black. Each child’s other parents is white. ust under 2 percent of all children born in the United States are of mixed racial and ethnic heritage. Like all children, biracial children combine their parents’ differing physical features. But biracial children grow up with an everyday awareness that they are living in two worlds—since each is from two cultural backgrounds.
Leaving the country of one’s birth to live in another is never easy. Saying good-bye to old friends and familiar customs is difficult, even though the reasons for leaving may be as compelling as a war-torn homeland or a government that does not allow its people to practice the religion of their choice or to talk freely about ideas.
The story of two boys, Doron and Jonathan, and their friendship that develops at synagogue each Shabbat morning. Jonathan has downs syndrome and finds doing some things hard. When Jonathon is invited to lead the congregation in singing he agrees. But when the time comes he turns to his friend Doron for help. The two boys together sing the “Adon Olam” and are congratulated by the entire congregation.
What is it like to share a birthday with a bother or sister? What do you do when another member of the family looks just like you, has the same talents, and sometimes seems to think the same? How does it feel to be always considered part of a duo, and to be mixed up even by your own parents?
Seven-year-old Rebecca, ten-year-old Andrei, and eight-year-old Karin behave like most children their age. They are active, curious, fun-seeking, and affectionate. They are also adopted. Rebecca, Andrei, and Karin often think about their caring families and themselves. Sometimes they find their adoption hard to forget, for in keeping with recent trends, Rebecca, Andrei, and Karin have racial and cultural roots different from their adoptive families’. Even at home, it seems, they stand out.