Title: The Tooth
Author: Avi Slodovnick
Illustrator: Manon Gauthier
Publisher: Kane Miller Publishing
Concepts: tradeoffs, homelessness
Review: Marissa has learned the hard way that eating lots of candy entails tradeoffs: she enjoys the sweets, but now she has a toothache. While walking to the dentist's office with her mom through the city streets, Marissa observes a homeless man sitting on the sidewalk grate to keep warm, with an open shoe box in front of him containing a few coins. Most people pass the man without stopping, and one man in a hurry even steps over him. Marissa wants to help but does not know how.
Aimed toward young readers, this picture book goes far beyond a simple "lost tooth" story to broach the difficult topic of homelessness. Teachers and parents can use the book to spark discussions about some of the reasons why people become homeless and why homelessness should not rob people of their identities.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children