Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones.
Jeremy lives with his grandmother dreams of wearing the “cool” shoes that other boys in his school get, one by one. His grandmother can’t afford them. One day when his shoes fall apart during kickball, the guidance counselor pulls a new pair of shoes out of his box and gives them to Jeremy. They look like “little kid” shoes, and he’s embarrassed to wear them. He does so anyways, and all the boys except for one laugh at him.
Later, he and his grandmother find the “cool” shoes at a thrift shop, but they are a little small. He squeezes his feet into them and they buy them. When he plays with a friend at the park after school, he notices that that friend’s shoes are taped together…and the tape is not working to keep them from falling apart. He thinks of the cool shoes that he bought. What do you think he does with those shoes?
This book is such a beautiful story for teaching selflessness, generosity, sensitvity and compassion to children. I want to be more like Jeremy in the story!