Ready, Freddy! series is a favorite of mine. I had the opportunity to meet the author, Abby Klein, at NCTE several years ago. During breakfast, she shared you gained her ideas from the kindergarten children she taught as well as her own children. She wrote during the summer, early mornings, on Saturdays with plenty of coffee. She uses everyday life situations to teach a lesson. Freddy wants to do the right thing, which is not always easy. The classroom bully, Max, seems to torment Freddy, creating a tension of retaliation versus kindness.
Thanks for Giving is one such story. The class has chosen to bring in can goods for the community. Mrs. Mushy, his teacher, works through student conflict and shares how to be generous to those in need. I love how Abby Klein uses this opportunity to teach children to look to the needs of others and to be thankful for what we do have.
Freddy is eager to contribute canned goods to the food drive. But when Max doesn’t have any cans to give and asks Freddy for help, Freddy is left with a dilemma – does he show kindness to his fellow classmate, especially since Max has pestered him so much? Freddy wrestles with his decision, recalling the negative mishaps produced by this kid. Freddy chooses compassion and a helping hand instead. This simple reader creates a venue for class discussion on how to share and the freedom of choice.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Thanks for Giving:
- Everyday moment – school
- Character Traits
- Philanthropy – learning to give to others
- Community Building
- Inner Thinking – Freddy shares his thinking with the reader throughout the story. Students struggle with adding this feature into their narratives.