January 2010. You and Me and Home Sweet Home / by George Ella Lyon, ill. Stephanie Anderson
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Author: George Ella Lyon
Illustrator: Stephanie Anderson
Publisher: Atheneum Books
Concepts: interdependence, human resources, needs, poverty
Review: Sharonda and her mother are living in the back room in Aunt Janey’s house where they have to fold up their bed daily and store their clothes in sacks. Then a church group offers to build a house for them. The story of building this house---from the empty lot to completion---is told from Sharonda’s point of view. Her eagerness to help build her new home reveals her pride of ownership. She even teaches her third grade class about how a house is built.
While she is too young to help with the actual construction of her new home, Sharonda is allowed to do such things as pass out water to the workers and sweep up at the end of the day. The excitement about her home grows as the house nears completion. The author captures the warmth and friendship that develops between the builders and Sharonda and her mother.
Sharonda’s home was built by Women Build, a part of Habitat for Humanity, in Lexington, Kentucky. The author, George Ella Lyon, was part of the crew. Stephanie Anderson’s illustrations add much to the book. Using a variety of perspectives and vivid colors, they are both real and emotional.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children