AMOS & CELIA HEILICHER MINNEAPOLIS JEWISH DAY SCHOOL

Top 10 Books About Gratitude & Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and it is a great reminder to talk about the importance of an “attitude of gratitude” and a thankful heart. While these are topics that can be talked about throughout the year, Thanksgiving is a great time to be intentional. Heilicher Library Manager Lysa Shimkus shares her top book picks, available in the Stephen and Sheila Lieberman, Children and Grandchildren Library, for you and your kids to read and discuss during this season of Thanksgiving. 

Top 10 Books About Gratitude and Thanksgiving

1. The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

In Piggy and Gerald's final book, Piggy makes an effort to thank everyone, but Gerald is worried she'll forget someone important. With classic Mo Willems humor, Piggy and Gerald teach a valuable lesson while saying goodbye.

2. Rivka's First Thanksgiving by Elsa Rael

As recent Jewish immigrants from Russia, Rivka is having a hard time trying to explain the importance of Thanksgiving to her family, and she turns to a group of Rabbis in the hopes they will give their blessings and change her father's mind.

3. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Seuss

This classic book provides the perfect antidote for readers of all ages who are feeling a bit down in the dumps. Thanks to Dr. Seuss’s trademark rhymes and signature illustrations, readers will, without a doubt, realize just how lucky they truly are.

4. Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

Autobiographical in nature, this delightful picture book reminds children to express gratitude to the wonderful teachers that spend so much time instructing, shaping, and encouraging them.

5. Junie B. Jones: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten by Barbara Park

Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader—Junie B. Jones. Room One is getting ready for their very own Thanksgiving feast. There’s even a contest to see which room can write the best thankful list.

6. Magic Tree House: Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne

It's a time for giving thanks when the Magic Tree House whisks Jack and Annie back to 1621 on the first Thanksgiving Day. The Pilgrims ask them to help get things ready. But whether it's cooking or clamming, Jack and Annie don't know how to do anything the Pilgrim way. Will they ruin the holiday forever? Or will the feast go on?.... Learn about what it truly means to give thanks with Jack and Annie.

7. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

A wonderful read, where the author weaves stories together through time and characters. The theme of choosing happiness through gratitude is one that resonates within us all.

8. Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Missing mother. Alcoholic, distant father. And a dog. When her father shows up one rainy night with a soaked dog, Rose falls in love. She names her Reign, a homonym to “rain”. Rose loves homonyms: she keeps lists of them with her and thinks they are lucky (rose/rows, rain/reign). And Reign is lucky to have found someone as loving and attentive as Rose too. 

9. Almost Home by Joan Bauer

When twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. 

10. Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

An emotional story told from the perspective of a girl born with cerebral palsy, and as a result cannot walk, talk, or do most the things that other children can. However, she is smart. The problem is: she cannot express it, so no one knows. However this is about the change…. This wonderful story teaches us tolerance and understanding, and to love ourselves, no matter how we were born. 



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