Last Stop on Market Street

When CJ starts noticing that the items in his life are not the same as those in his friends’ lives, he starts to ask questions, wondering why others have more. With the help of his grandma (and her wit) and diverse bus passengers, CJ’s eyes are opened up to the world’s beauty and music. In the end, they arrive at the last stop on Market Street where CJ and his grandma volunteer at a soup kitchen, where CJ, with a newfound understanding, gives back to the community. This book is the winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott Honor, and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Honor recipient. I cannot tell you how elated I was when I heard that this book was the first picture book to receive the Newbery Medal. It truly deserves every accolade that it has won. Not only does it tackle multiculturalism with grace, but it shines a light on an inner city environment that generally is portrayed as dark and dangerous. Living in Milwaukee, which is a highly segregated city, I’ve seen how the inner city is portrayed by those in the suburbs with the “don’t go there or you’ll get shot” mentality. A book like this helps bring perspective to one’s surroundings, especially if you’re a child growing up in these areas. Things may not be squeaky clean or idyllic, but that doesn't make those people and that place any less significant. It’s not about constantly desiring what others have, but finding the value of what you have.

Age Range: 
Preschool and Up
Year: 
2015