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Book Review

Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson (author); E. B. Lewis (illustrator); published by Nancy Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

The principal at Chloe's school introduces a new girl, Maya, to Chloe's class. She is wearing somewhat ragged clothes and ripped shoes. Maya reaches out to Chloe by smiling at her and trying to play with her on the playground, but Chloe refuses to smile back and ignores her. Chloe and her friends whisper about Maya's clothes and her food, and they decline her invitation to play with her. They give her the name "Never New" because her clothing looks used. The day that Maya misses class, Ms. Albert (the teacher) brings a lesson to the class about how kindness "makes the whole world a little bit better." Chloe reflects on her own behavior toward Maya and yearns for Maya to return to class so she can show her some kindness. Maya never returns, and Chloe feels saddened by the fact that she will never be able to reach out to Maya again.

Christian Beliefs


Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

The principal introduces Maya to the classroom, exhibiting a guardian position by being by her side and holding Maya's hand. There is no authority figure during the time that Maya is rejected by Chloe and her friends. However, once Maya leaves the school, Ms. Albert, the teacher, brings a needed lesson to her class about the importance of kindness. She teaches them that just one act of kindness affects others. Because of that lesson, Chloe changes her view on how she has treated Maya.



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

7 to 10


Jacqueline Woodson






Record Label



Nancy Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group


On Video

Year Published




We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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