What if all of Malden read the same book?
The companion books echo many of the topics and themes of the adult book selection, which include coping with grief and loss, the importance of community and connection, overcoming challenges and personal growth.
The books will be available to borrow at the Malden Public Library. Local Pre-K—Grade 8 schools will receive copies along with curriculum and related resources. These books can also be purchased at upcoming Malden Reads events, at Malden’s Media Center (MATV) or through your local retail bookseller. (Malden Reads has an affiliation with The Book Oasis in Stoneham, MA.)
The Peace Book by Todd Parr (Pre-K)
Todd Parr relates the notion of peace to making new friends, listening to different kinds of music, and helping your neighbor. He offers an upbeat celebration of diversity, with a timely and timeless message about the importance of tolerance. Bright primary colors and bold black outlines define cartoon-like characters (animal and human) with smiling features. A helpful and engaging book that’s sure to spark discussion.
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli (Grades K-3)
This warmhearted tale examines the effect that love and tender regard can have on a lackluster existence. Mr. Hatch is a drab, predictable gentleman who leads a painfully ordered and uninteresting life, his dreary routine at the shoelace factory barely broken by the same joyless lunch day after day. One Valentine’s Day a giant candy-filled heart is delivered to Mr. Hatch with a note that reads, “Somebody loves you.” Just the thought of someone taking an interest in him completely changes the way Mr. Hatch interacts with his neighbors and co-workers. The newly adorable gentleman becomes so much a part of people’s lives that when it is disclosed that the heart was delivered by mistake, his friends and neighbors rally around him in a loving demonstration.
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern (Grade 4)
Fourth grade is not going at all how Benny Barrows hoped. He hasn’t found a new best friend at school. He’s still not a great bike rider—even though his brother George, who’s autistic, can do tricks. And worst of all, he worries his dad’s recent accident might be all his fault. Benny tries to take his mom’s advice and focus on helping others, and to take things one step at a time. But when his dad ends up in the hospital again, Benny doesn’t know how he and his family will overcome all the bad luck that life seems to have thrown their way. Just My Luck is a deeply moving and rewarding novel about a down-on-his-luck boy whose caring heart ultimately helps him find the strength to cope with tragedy and realize how much he truly has to offer his friends and family.”
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Grades 5-8)
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.
Malden Reads encourages local residents to share these books with young family members and friends. Adults will enjoy these selections as well!