Knit Your Bit:A World War I Story
written by Deborah Hopkinson; illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia
2013 (G.P. Putnam's Sons)
Source: Orange County Public Library
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Mikey wants to do something big to help the soldiers, including his father, that are serving in Europe during World War I. His mother is going to teach Mikey's sister Ellie how to knit. Soldiers needs sweaters, hats, and socks to help them combat the cold European winter. Mikey is asked to join, but he refuses this "girls' work." Later on, his teacher posts a notice about a knitting bee in Central Park. After being challenged by a girl in his class, Mikey decides to create the Boys' Knitting Brigade and compete in the knitting bee. The boys take lessons from Mikey's mom, but find out that knitting is no joke. They perform valiantly in the bee and take away a valuable lesson about giving your best to help others.
My colleagues and I have been talking about teaching character traits and how our students want to say everyone is determined and shows tenacity. I was delighted to read Knit Your Bit because it would be good for teaching students about sacrifice as a character trait. It's one thing that I'm afraid my generation lacks at this time. Families during WWI and WWII gave up many things to contribute to the greater good. Knit Your Bit illustrates how citizens rolled up their sleeves to help their country. This would be a great trait to teach our students.
The Children's War