The Soup Movement by Ben Davis is a powerful and emotional book. Aimed at readers age 8+, it is fantastic story for developing empathy across so many parts of life.
Jordan has a past he doesn’t want anyone to know about. All he wants is to be normal, to have friends, to fit in at his new school. He never wanted to move – to move on, to move away from all he’d left behind.
Before moving to his new school, Jordan made a promise to someone. A promise that, no matter what, they would always try to do something kind for other people – even if it was difficult. This pact of mitzvahs (acts of kindness) seemed almost magic.
When Jordan is finally invited to go out for lunch with some kids from school, an opportunity for a mitzvah presents itself in an unexpected way. They come across a homeless man outside the chippy. The other children are horrible to the man but Jordan can’t stand by and let it happen. Lumbered with a flask of homemade soup made by his overprotective mother, Jordan decides to give it to the stranger. This begins “The Soup Movement”.
Spurred on by his sister’s love of social media, Jordan becomes a “souperhero”. His kindness ripple spreads across the town and makes a difference to so many people. Jordan finds strength and purpose in his new life. Lessons of living life to the fullest, tackling new experiences, and letting people in leap off the page leaving the reader changed. Issues such as illness, PTSD, homelessness, protest and charity are dealt with in a constructive and sensitive manner.
At times, this book is incredibly moving. Young readers will need an adult to support them through discussions about the key issues. I strongly recommend reading ahead or reading together to get the most out of these powerful messages.
Thank you to Oxford University Press Children’s Books for this incredible book!
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