Perfect Picture Book Friday: Wheels of Change

Today is Perfect Picture Book Friday where I link up with Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic group of picture book writers, illustrators, librarians and others.

For the last month, I’ve been immersed in a different genre of books. I’m taking Jodell Sadler’s Innovative Pacing for MG/YA class. Stacks of middle grade classics sprout from every table, chair and shelf in my house. A Wrinkle in Time. The Borrowers. Little Women. And some of the newer titles as well. The One and Only Ivan. Brown Girl Dreaming. The Braid. We Are Liars. So I hope you will all bear with me as I diverge a bit from the picture book path and give you a review of a brand new historical fiction middle grade book that I just finished reading.

wheels of change

Wheels of Change

Written by Darlene Beck Jacobson

Publisher: Creston Books (2014)

Ages: 8-13


Racial intolerance, being true to yourself


From Amazon: “Racial intolerance, social change, and sweeping progress make 1908 Washington, D.C., a turbulent place to grow up in for 12-year-old Emily Soper. For Emily, life in Papa’s carriage barn is magic, and she’s more at home hearing the symphony of the blacksmith’s hammer than trying to conform to the proper expectations of young ladies. When Papa’s livelihood is threatened by racist neighbors and horsepower of a different sort, Emily faces changes she’d never imagined. Finding courage and resolve she didn’t know she had, Emily strives to save Papa’s business, even if it means going all the way to the White House.”

Why do I like this book:

I loved the character of Emily – a young girl who wants to do things most girls of her time aren’t supposed to. And I loved the setting – it was fascinating to ‘see’ the world changing as I turned the pages. This would be a lovely book to read as a family, chapter by chapter each night. Emily doesn’t think she has courage, but she does – the very best kind. It’s a story about bravery and sticking up for what you believe in. It’s a compelling page-turner. I think kids will love this one…I know I did!

On Darlene’s website she has a whole section with activities related to the book for teachers and parents.

Related Activities:

Apple Crisp

apple crispPhoto courtesy:

In the story, Emily wants to learn how to bake an apple pie. In those days, baking a perfect pie was an accomplishment all girls were supposed to master.

I have very fond memories of many pie-making mornings with my grandmother. And apple was one of my favorites.

Young children might enjoy this revised ‘apple crisp’. It’s a snap to make, delicious to eat, and pretty nutritious as well!

You will need: For the base: 3 or 4 large apples (a combination of MacIntosh and Empirre works well…but you can use whatever type of apple you have), ¼ cup raisins, ¼ cup sugar, ¼ tsp cinnamon. For the topping: ½ cup sugar, ½ cup flour, ¼ tsp cinnamon, 2 Tb butter (or margarine).

  1. Wash and peel the apples…then cut in chunks or slice.
  2. Put in a bowl and mix in sugar, cinnamon and raisins.
  3. Lightly grease the inside of a baking pan (depending on how many apples – 8×8 inch or 9×12 inch).
  4. Spoon in apple mixture.
  5. In another bowl, mix dry topping ingredients. Then add the cold butter and smoosh until butter is well mixed in.
  6. Sprinkle this mixture over apples.
  7. Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 1 hour. Apples should be bubbling and sizzling…topping should be lightly browned.
  8. Cool before serving to a child – adults might like it fairly warm, especially if they top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!


A Note for Parents and Teachers

Kids love to make things. But when you’re busy, it’s not easy to find the time to plan what to do. If you want a quick and easy guide – BOOK SUGGESTIONS, CRAFT PROJECTS, CHILD-FRIENDLY RECIPES, take a look at my activity book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking. Just $16 per copy with FREE priority shipping. Grab an extra copy because at this price, the book makes a PERFECT gift for any parent or teacher of children ages 2-8…as well as for daycare providers and grandparents. No batteries required…powered by a child’s imagination and a parent’s participation!

Sign up for my newsletter for a chance for your local library to receive a copy of Show Me How. Just click on this link to subscribe. We’ll be announcing the lucky winners later this month.

25 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: Wheels of Change

  1. My 4th grader and I both loved reading this book – she’s a huge historical fiction fan. I have absolutely no idea where she gets that. *coughs quietly. returns to reading about the middle ages*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read WHEELS OF CHANGE, Vivian, and it is an excellent read. Last week while we were in Kansas, at the elementary school 5th graders gave “readings” from their favorite books, and two girls chose different passages and took turns presenting them. It was very well done, and what a good promotion for others to also read the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got this book for my son at the library because it sounded very interesting. I couldn’t get him past the first few pages, though. He definitely has his opinions on what makes a good book. Perhaps I should get it, now, and read it myself! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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