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Download A Castle on Viola Street fb2

by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
Download A Castle on Viola Street fb2
Growing Up & Facts of Life
  • Author:
    DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
  • ISBN:
  • ISBN13:
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  • Publisher:
    HarperCollins (August 1, 2001)
  • Subcategory:
    Growing Up & Facts of Life
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    1281 kb
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    1754 kb
  • DJVU format
    1181 kb
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Andy's hardworking family gets their own house at last by joining a community program that restores old, abandoned houses.

I am working on a unit study about the ways that governments, organizations, and individuals help meet people's needs or solve various problems. One of the organizations we will study is Habitat for Humanity, so I was delighted to find this book about how Habitat for Humanity (or a similar group) might work in a neighborhood, and the impact it might have on the families that it helps.

The plot is quite straightforward - a child, Andy, lives in a small rented apartment but dreams of owning a home with a garden and a porch. His family learns about an organization that is going to fix up some boarded buildings in the neighborhood, and they volunteer to help. After working on several homes for others, they receive the news that next spring they'll be working on their OWN home.

I do wish this book had included a page or two about ways that young people can help Habitat for Humanity. For example, I belong to a homeschool group that is planning to bring lunch to Habitat for Humanity workers in two weeks. And last spring our family volunteered in a community-wide fundraiser for Habitat as well.

In "Above All Be Kind" by Zoe Weil, Weil makes a very compelling point that "Without action, compassion can lead to despair and deep sorrow, but when we do act upon our empathy, not only do we and our children feel empowered and positive about ourselves, our collective acts become an extraordinary force for good." Intuitively this makes so much sense to me, and hopefully future editions of "A Castle on Viola Street" will include some service ideas.
This is a story about a family who rented an apartment and lived in a very, very small place. They struggled and didn’t always have enough food to eat. Making the payments wasn’t always easy on their parents. They children slept all in one bedroom. It’s a really nice story to read to families who are in an average, middle-class setting. To see that not everyone lives in a home and not everyone has bedrooms all to themselves. Oftentimes families live in different settings. This family lives in a city and the illustrations are really beautiful. You can see apartment buildings and tall skyscrapers. At the end of the story you see the family working towards getting into a house and the community comes together to help them. They saved up their money. The community comes together to paint the home and fix things up and they have a large celebration at the end of the story.

Maria Dismondy, author of Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage To Be Who You Are
In a day and age where many people believed they are "owed" things in life without ever lifting a finger to help themselves this book is an EXCELLENT example for children to read of how a family, through working hard and helping others, finally obtain a dream of their own, a house. Not that we should just do things for others in order to get things back but we should help others in order to see their lives improved and their dreams fulfilled.

Life was hard for this family but they worked hard to make ends meet. When the houses across from the Laundromat were going to be renovated Mom and Dad signed up and the entire family spent their Saturdays working / volunteering in the houses on the renovations. Later in the Fall, the family were notified that next spring they would be working on their own house. What an amazing work ethic / attitude to teach our kids. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
What a wonderful story about building a caring community! Andy and his family are able to find a house for their home when the volunteers start fixing up number 146 Viola Street. His dreams become a reality, bit by bit, thanks to a collective effort by this those who volunteer for this organization which "buys empty houses and fixes them up like new" and his family. Use this book to teach your children about the benefits of being a good citizen and seizing the myriad of volunteering opportunities out there! This is a book you won't want to miss.