What Is Given from the Heart

by Patricia C. McKissack and April Harrison

After the death of his father and the loss of their farm, James Otis and Mama are... read more

After the death of his father and the loss of their farm, James Otis and Mama are experiencing tough times. But when Reverend Dennis announces that Irene Temple and her daughter, Sarah, have lost their house in a fire, Mama knows that she and James Otis can scrounge up a donation for the Temples’ “love box.” Otis considers his gift carefully. Would Sarah like his blue ribbon from the spelling bee? His special rock? His crayons? His favorite book? Mama sews an apron for Mrs. Temple using her nicest possession, her white tablecloth, which inspires James Otis to put his own creative talents to good use. Mama is proud of James Otis, not only for giving when they have so little but just for being himself. The mutual love of this mother and son warms each page of gorgeous mixed-media illustrations in a story about the care, support, and selflessness of one African American community that, it turns out, has not forgotten James Otis and Mama, either. (Ages 4–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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