Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genres because I learn about history in a way that also teaches compassion. Nothing to Fear by Jackie French Koller was published in 1991 but is set during the Great Depression.
In this story, Danny's father is forced to leave his family behind in their apartment in NYC so he can try to find work. Danny and his mother miss his father, but they are determined to hold things together while he is gone. Danny shines shoes, helps take care of his little sister, and his mother does laundry, but she gets sick, everything falls on Danny, and soon everything is falling apart.
The characters in this story are fallible. They make mistakes, but they try to pick themselves back up and try to do better. Because of this, they seem like real people - people that we know, and people that we are.
This book shows why it is important to help others and to treat everyone with grace and dignity. Anyone can fall on hard times. During the Great Depression it was a common occurrence for many people to go with food, housing, clothing, and jobs, but even now, we can be aware of those around us who need a hand.
Our world could use a little more kindness, more sharing the load, more prayers, and more comforting smiles.