children’s books: Friendship
Have you read children’s books dealing with bullying? Did someone come to the rescue of the person being teased? In the fifth of my children’s books, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog, Hattie the Chicken is so upset when she hears about the headline in the paper, she nearly faints. When Bentley bulldog first arrives, he’s dreadfully obnoxious. But you’d be surprised what happens next and how the animal characters work to solve problems.
If you were in fifth grade at the Franklin Elementary School in Mankato, Minnesota, you might have heard an amazing story about James Willmert and his friends, Gus, Tyler, Jake, Landon, and Jack. who decided it was not fair to “pick on someone with special needs so they started “The James Gang” to make sure they included James in everything they did. The boys made sure “They had James’ back” because James has learning disabilities. The group has learned a lot about James. For example, they know that James was adopted from Columbia. Little James has already known sadness in his life because his adoptive Dad passed away when James was just six years old. Until The James Gang was formed, James would never go out to play. Now, he’s begun playing basketball and football with his new friends. Even his Mom has noticed a huge positive change in her son. “They’re changing him” she said. “He used to never go out to play. Now he can hardly wait to eat his lunch so he can go out to play with those guys,” she continued.
It’s easy to see why James would say,”I love you guys” when he’s playing football with the group. Tyler was amazed when he learned James has a book with over 600 college teams in it.
“T hat’s how much he likes sports,” said Jack. The boys have already made a huge difference in James’ life. But they’re always thinking of new things to do. They asked if James had any video games and when James said he didn’t, his friends made a plan. They pooled their money and collected some from their parents so they could buy some video games for James. Isn’t that wonderful? Think of how they’ve changed James’ life.
“The James Gang” could write amazing children’s books about helping others if they choose that path. Their children’s books could be great examples of making a difference. It turns out Gus, Tyler, Jake, Landon, and Jack have been recognized for their kindness. They’ve received the Spirit of Youth Award. It’s very well-deserved, don’t you think?
copyright Deanie Humphrys-Dunne 2015