CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 16 . . . . December 22, 2017
Aliyah and her family have just moved from Freshtown to the very littered town of Dumpton. She is quickly greeted by her kind neighbor but becomes unsettled when she realizes a bad habit has plagued her new community. Everyone litters! Aliyah and her family hold a family meeting to brainstorm ideas to bring an end to the problem. As Aliyah works through her list, she finds it increasingly difficult to stay motivated as the litter continues to appear throughout her community. Eventually, her brave new idea slowly changes the trash culture of her school and eventually all of Dumpton.
This short novel carries the powerful message that change begins with only one person. Unfortunately, it is presented in a way that is reminiscent of a social story rather than an inspirational read. The author has used a very simple topic to convey her strong message, but it is missing a spark of creativity to captivate the reader. Littering is an issue that every child has experienced to some degree, making prior knowledge easily accessible. The black and white artwork does support the story, making it an appropriate choice for readers transitioning from emergent readers to beginner novels. The text is widely spaced and written in readable font. Following the text, there is also a two page spread of "Discussion Questions." The final question states, "What are some things that you would like to change?" The questions include comprehension and inference questions that could easily be used in classroom discussions or as writing prompts.
Johanna Beaumont is a kindergarten teacher at Spruceland Traditional Elementary School in Prince George, BC. She is also currently studying for a Master of Special Education degree at UNBC.