Reach Out and Help Someone: Ha’achalat Re’evim/Feeding the Hungry, Continued

“If we do not help a [person] in trouble, it is as if we caused the trouble.”

~ Rabbi Nachman of Breslov (1772-1810), Torah scholar, spiritual leader

As we quickly approach the Jewish Leap Month of Adar I (also called Adar Rishon/ the first Adar or Adar Alef), this coming Shabbat (Friday evening, February 4), I want to round out my  Ha’achalat Re’evim/Feeding the Hungry book list with titles for older readers.  This age group, 11-18 year olds, is psychologically and sociologically ready to assist in finding solutions to some of the challenges these books offer.   I encourage you to read these books with your children and discuss the issues that are brought up. Here is a list of books that may help all of you become more aware of the plight of the hungry and homeless and how you can help:

Gracie’s Girl by Ellen Wittlinger. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, © 2000. Bess wants to be popular at school. It seems her mother and now her best friend are trying to ruin that dream with their involvment in the local homeless shelter/soup kitchen. Then she meets Gracie, an elderly, homeless lady, who needs her help. Can she put popularity aside to do what is right? Ages 11-14.

Money Hungry by Sharon G. Flake. Hyperion Books for Children, © 2001. If you have ever been  homeless, you will understand why money is all Rasperry Hill ever thinks about. Money separates Raspberry from the cold, hard streets. Money will move her from the projects to a nice, spacious apartment. Money is all that motivates Raspberry. Ages 11-14.

Birdland by Tracy Mack. Scholastic Press, © 2003. Jed is trying to discover anything and everything that moved his older brother Zeke who died from an insulin overdose under mysterious circumstances. When Jed meets a homeless girl who also knew Zeke, he believes he may have found someone with the answers he is searching for. Ages 13-16.

Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Henry Holt and Company, LLC, © 2001. A surprisingly revealing book about living on a minimum wage income in America. Ages 14-Adult.

A Kids’ Guide to Hunger and Homelessness: How to Take Action! by Cathryn Berger Kaye, Free Spirit Press © 2007. An excellent book packed with great ideas for social action projects and ways to get involved in this serious issue. Ages 9-14.

You can also visit for a look at what the Jewish community is doing to help fight hunger.

I am aware that in many schools, public and private, students in upper grades are being asked to take on “Social Awareness Projects” or “Social Action Projects” in order to make them better citizens of the world. This list, and future Jewish values lists on, may assist your child in developing such a project for your community.  It is my belief that with reading comes understanding which brings about the ideas and the assistance necessary to see an end to the difficulties suffered by so many all over the world. Ken Yehi Ratzon/May it be God’s will.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

©2011 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and all rights reserved.
Books used in this review were provided by my local public library.
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One Response to “Reach Out and Help Someone: Ha’achalat Re’evim/Feeding the Hungry, Continued”

  1. [...] list, and the upcoming list for older readers, should assist you and your family in understanding the plight of the poor and hungry in our [...]


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