Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson (2015)
CJ takes a bus ride home from church with his Nana on a rainy day. He wonders why they don’t have a car like his friend, Colby. Nana assures him they don’t need a car when they have the bus and their friend Dennis, the bus driver. He wonders why his friends don’t have to go anywhere after church like he does. Nana says she feels sorry for his friends that don’t get to meet all the people he meets on the bus and their friends at the last stop on Market Street. On the bus, CJ meets an old blind man with his dog, a guitar player sitting across from him, and a woman with a jar of butterflies. When they finally get to the last stop on Market Street, CJ and Nana get off the bus. They walk down a dirty street and past buildings with graffiti on the walls and boarded up windows. Nana shows him the beauty of the sky above them and the rainbow that arcs over the soup kitchen. When they arrive, CJ waves to the people he knows. Then he and Nana go into the soup kitchen where they help to serve the meals.
Whether our readers have been to a soup kitchen like CJ, or not, they can all learn to appreciate the things they have in life and the opportunities they have to share with others every day, no matter what side of the soup line they stand on.
And what better way to bring this story to life but to make soup for yourselves and for others. Here are some simple recipes even the youngest readers can help you make.