My Heart Will Not Sit Down by Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by Ann Tanksley
Published by Alfred A. Knopf
It's the 1930's at the hight of the Great Depression in America. On other side of the "great salt river," in Cameroon, a young girl, Kedi, is at school. Kedi finds out from her American teacher that people are starving in New York and she knows she must do something to help. "All day, Kedi thought about the hungry children in New York, America, and her heart stood up for them in sympathy." Her heart would not sit down until she had found a way to help. She spent the day going all over her village asking everybody for money to send to America. Her mother gives her the only coin she had, and Kedi is sad that she has such a small amount to give to the teacher. But then, everybody she had talked to arrived at school to give the money they had.
Based on a true story, My Heart Will Not Sit Down is moving and memorable, with crisp text and vibrant illustrations. In the extensive author's note, we learn more abut the true event: "In 1931, the city of New York received a gift of $3.77 to feed the hungry. It came from the African country of Cameroon." The note also includes other stories from around the world, of people helping each other across continents. My Heart Will Not Sit Down is a wonderful read aloud to share in classrooms and inspire students to find a common cause and help. Beautiful book!