Here to Help: Books about Homelessness

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By sharing stories together and having conversations about the books you read, you can help young children understand the world around them. Seeing diverse experiences represented in books helps children to explore their own identities and develop empathy for others.

It can be scary and complex to face losing a home, or to support friends and loved ones who are or who have been homeless. Children and caregivers can begin discussions about homelessness with these titles in the library.

Not every book is available at all locations, but any title can be requested. The children’s librarian at your neighborhood library is also here to help, with suggestions for additional titles on topics of interest–or feel free to suggest some titles to us. New books are always being added to the collection. You can find more Here to Help booklists on different topics by clicking here.

Can Man

After watching a homeless man collect empty soft drink cans for the redemption money, a young boy decides to collect cans himself to earn money for a skateboard until he has a change of heart.

I See You

A wordless picture book that depicts a homeless woman who is not seen by all the life around her, except by a little boy. Ultimately, in a gesture of compassion, this boy approaches this woman, in an exchange where he sees her and she experiences being seen.

The Lady in the Box

When Lizzie and Ben discover a homeless lady living in their neighborhood, they must reconcile their desire to help her with their mother’s admonition not to talk to strangers.

Old Man

A homeless man who can’t remember his name is noticed by a child.

Shoebox Sam

On Saturdays, Delia and Jesse help Shoebox Sam, who teaches them about charity and love by not only repairing shoes for paying customers, but also giving poor and homeless people the dignity–and footwear–they need.

Widget

A small stray dog is accepted into a household full of cats by learning to “fit in”, but when his mistress is hurt, he demonstrates that being a dog is not all bad.