Pitching in for Eubie

eubie.jpgOkay, add another picture book (this makes four) to my list of short books that can make you cry. Jerdine Nolen’s Pitching in for Eubie (Amistad, $16.99), illustrated by E.B. Lewis is a quiet story about love and commitment. Eubie, the eldest daughter in the family has been accepted to college. She’s even gotten an academic scholarship! But the amount the family must pay toward her room and board seems insurmountable. There is a moment of elation when the acceptance letter arrives, follow by stunned silence. Papa breaks the silence, declaring: “We can do it! We can raise that money if we all pitch in! We have the whole summer. After all…dreams are meant to come true.” Okay, I teared up again just thinking about this poor family committing to their eldest daughter—a girl! Lily, the baby of the family at about eight years old or so, wants to help, too. But what can she do? She tries several options and none work out. It means a lot to Eubie that Lily is trying so hard. Daddy’s working Sundays, Mama’s taking in sewing, brother Jacob gets a job in town, so Lily has to do more at home: feed the chickens, do the dishes. But this just isn’t enough to satisfy Lily. In the end, there’s a wonderful solution. And it comes about as a result of Lily’s determination to help her sister. This isn’t just a book about the importance of family and the satisfaction that comes from helping someone else. It’s a book about stating to the universe your intentions, and having those intentions met in a way that you couldn’t originally see.

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