Title: A Chance to Shine
Author: Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
Illustrator: R. Gregory Christie
Publisher: Tricycle Books
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level: 2.7
Concepts: homelessness, jobs
Review: Joe, a homeless man, hangs out on a park bench in front of the store that a boy’s father owns, and the boy cannot help but notice Joe’s unkempt appearance, funny smell, and odd behavior. The boy is puzzled one day when his father asks Joe to sweep the sidewalk every morning in exchange for free meals. His father’s response, “Every heart needs a chance to shine,” makes more sense over time as the boy witnesses Joe’s transformation into an autonomous, productive, and employed member of the community. This inspiring book, which is accompanied by a musical CD recording of the story, gets top marks for combining artistic creativity with a powerful economics lesson about extreme poverty and the path to economic self-sufficiency.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children