Are you trying to encourage volunteer work and the idea of paying it forward with your older children and teens? One of the best ways to do this is to offer role models that behave in the manner you would like them to. Sometimes reading a great book about someone else in a similar situation, or with similar interests, doing good things can inspire those that read the book to follow suit. Here are some novels that might inspire some good deeds.
The Adventures of Blue Avenger by Norma Howe (YA)
On his sixteenth birthday, still trying to cope with the unexpected death of his father, David Schumacher decides–or does he–to change his name to Blue Avenger, hoping to find a way to make a difference in his Oakland neighborhood and in the world.
Regarding the Fountain: a Tale, in Letters, of Liars and Leaks by Kate Klise, with illustrations by M. Sarah Klise (J)
When the principal asks a fifth-grader to write a letter regarding the purchase of a new drinking fountain for their school, he finds that all sorts of chaos results.
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors (YA)
Sixteen-year-old Katrina’s kindness to a man she finds sleeping behind her grandmother’s coffeehouse leads to a strange reward as Malcolm, who is actually a teenage guardian angel, insists on rewarding her by granting her deepest wish.
Loser by Jerry Spinelli (J)
Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff’s optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.
Gracie’s Girl by Ellen Wittlinger (J)
As she starts middle school, Bess volunteers to work on the school musical in hopes of fitting in, but when she and a friend get to know an elderly homeless woman, Bess changes her mind about what is really important.
Again, this list barely scratches the surface of great books about older children and teens doing good things and just being great people. Here are a few more from our collection; Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli (YA), Why Did the Underwear Cross the Road? by Gordon Korman (J), Three Good Deeds by Vande Velde, Vivian (J), and Daddy’s Little Angel by Shani Petroff (YA).
Please mention any titles that we missed in the comment section so that others can enjoy them as well!