Children’s Literature and Guided Questions

Giving and Receiving


Giving and Receiving Picture Book for K-3

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2015)

 Summary: CJ and his grandmother ride the bus after church through their neighborhood. CJ wonders about his urban neighborhood and learns from his grandmother to notice beauty all around. Their Sunday journey ends at the last stop where they then serve food at a soup kitchen.


1.       What is special about CJ’s relationship to his grandmother? What does he receive from her?

2.       What lessons are CJ’s grandmother trying to teach CJ?

3.       What is something you’ve given or gotten that was free that you really enjoyed and appreciated? Who gave it to  you?

4.       Do you have someone in your life like CJ’s grandmother? What does this person give to you?

5.       In the neighborhood where you live, how could you help those around you?


For Grades 4-7

One Hen: How one Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes (Kids Can Press, 2008)

Summary: After Kojo’s father dies, the village lends his mother money. He asks for money to buy a hen, which leads him on a journey to start a farm and give back to his Ashanti community in Ghana.


1.       Why do you think the community, even though it was poor, decided to save to give to people in need? Is this a good thing?

2.       How does Kojo give back to his community?

3.       Why was buying a hen such a good idea? If you were given a little money for one thing like Kojo asked for, what would you buy?

4.       When is a time you were given something that then allowed you to give back to others?

5.       Kojo as an adult said, “All I want to do now is to be part of something that gives young people the same break I received.” What would you like to be able to do as an adult and how would you like to give back to people your age?

 Other worthy books:

Grades K-3  Frederick by Leo Lionni (Pantheon Books, 1967) How a small mouse with different skills gives back to a community of working mice.

Grades 1-5  Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White (Harper, 1952) A spider gives many gifts to a grateful pig.

Grade 5-7  Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement by James Haskins (Hyperion Books for Children, 1997) The stories of what Bayard Rustin gave to the Civil Rights Movement.

Grades K-7  The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Harper, 1964) A tree gives and gives until there is little left of her.

Grades K-3  Give and Take by Chris Raschka (Atheneum, 2014) A farmer deals with finding the balance between two characters whose names are Give and Take.

Grades 3-6   Irena’s Jars of Secrets by Marcia Vaughan and illustrated by Ron Mazellan (Lee and Low, 2011) Irena Sendler smuggled food, clothing and medicine into the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw during World War II and then smuggles children out.