Education, Me Time, Stages

From the Bookshelf: The Season for Giving Is Here

Thanksgiving is a time for food and family, but it’s also a great opportunity to give back to your community. The New Orleans Public Library has tons of fantastic reads to get your family in the giving mood.

Young readers see how everyone can play a part in ending hunger with Misty Lee Coolidge and Bobbie Bensur’s We All Stir the Pot: To End Hunger! Set in and around the busyness of a food pantry and soup kitchen, children get insight into how coming together can make a difference.

Help your little ones get excited for the holidays with You’re My Little Cutie Pie by Natalie Marshall & Nicola Edwards. This celebration of all things Thanksgiving features grateful turkeys, sweet pumpkin pies, and cute cranberries dancing through this board book with cut-outs and raised elements.

Keepunumuk: Weeâchumun’s Thanksgiving Story by Danielle Greendeer, Anthony Perry, Alexis Bunten and Garry Meeches Sr. is a Wampanoag story told in a Native tradition. Readers learn about Weeâchumun (corn), the first Thanksgiving, and how the Wampanoag helped the pilgrims survive their first winter.

For middle-grade readers, try Kindness Is My Hobby: How to Change the World Right Where You Are. Written by award-winning teen humanitarian Ruby Kate Chitsey, this book follows the remarkable story of how she became an activist for senior citizens through easy-to-do, youth-led charitable acts. Along the way, Chitsey offers tips for how other kids can do the same.

In the young readers edition of We Gather Together: Stories of Thanksgiving from Then to Now, Denise Kiernan breaks down the true story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday in America. Kiernan opens audiences’ eyes while debunking myths, providing facts, and discussing what gratitude means to society, in an
easy-to-read and age-appropriate way.

Dive even deeper with History Smashers: The Mayflower by Kate Messner & Dylan Meconis, which uses illustrations, graphic panels, photographs, sidebars, and more, to explore the little- known details behind the legends of the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving.

To help teens engage with important issues of the day, check out Frederick Joseph & Porsche Joseph’s Better Than We Found It: Conversations to Help Save the World. Drawing on interviews with prominent activists, authors, actors, and politicians, this timely guide addresses some of the biggest issues of our day like climate change, gun violence, and transphobia. 

Stuart A. Kallen’s Teen Guide to Volunteering is also a great resource for older kids looking to get involved. Divided into five chapters, this well-organized book outlines and explains a broad range of experiences and levels of volunteering. Kallen also lays out ideas of ways to get involved, including one-time options, long-term programs, and starting their own
grassroots efforts.

The Library also offers volunteering opportunities for teens looking to give back to their community! Visit to fill out a volunteer application or sign up for the Reading Buddies program, which pairs 8th-12th grade volunteers with kindergarten to 2nd grade students to help encourage a love
of literacy.

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