When life is hard, or when we are living in a place and/or a time that is full of challenges, it is so easy to despair and give up hope. At such times we forget to notice the little gifts that life is giving us, the little things that brighten our world and make it a happier place. A friend's hug, the smile of a child, a a gorgeous sunrise. These things all give us hope when we experience them.
Today's Book of Hope takes us to a grim place where hope is scarce. Until something miraculous happens.
A Child's Garden: A Story of Hope
For ages 6 and up
Candlewick, 2009, 978-0763642716
One day, after a rain shower, a little boy who lives in a war ravaged world sees a little plant pushing its way through the soil. The little boy carefully tends the plant, and in time he recognizes that it is a grapevine. The vine grows up the barbed wire fence that prevents the little boy from going to the hills that he once visited with his father. The vine grows and prospers, and soon it provides the children in the war zone with a shady place to play.
Then something terrible happens, soldiers from the other side of the fence pull up the vine and they throw it in a ditch. The little boy can't help feeling that his heart is going to break; but is doesn't break after all.
In this powerful and very moving picture book, Michael Foreman celebrates the resilience and courage of the human spirit. He shows his readers how people, even in the most trying of times, can find something to live for. Against the stark grey landscape of ruined homes and lives, Michael Foreman gives us the warm glow of something green and living, and we can see how a simple plant can give people hope for a better future.
This title is out of print in the United States, but new and used copies are easy to find online. The book is still in print in the U.K.