Moral issues in: "My Friend Maggie"

By Melody Palmer, Youth Librarian, South Broken Arrow Library

As parents and educators, we want children to have a consistent moral compass. Part of building that compass is by providing opportunities to read stories with realistic moral dilemmas and relatable characters - but don't hit readers over the head with The Message.

When thinking about children's books that have a great message without being heavy-handed, "My Friend Maggie" by Hannah E. Harrison comes immediately to mind.

This is the story of Paula, a little beaver who shares with the reader all the fun things she and Maggie have done in the past. She points out - delicately - that Maggie is pretty clumsy, she's pretty terrible at hide-and-seek, and that Maggie is a big girl. Oh yeah, Veronica, a popular (mean) girl, doesn't like Maggie. 

This leads to the moral dilemma that Paula faces.

Should she stand up for her friend, Maggie, who has been her friend for a long time? Or should she play with the popular girls, leaving Maggie behind?

What happens when the popular girls decide Paula's front teeth are too big? You'll have to read this beautifully illustrated story to find out.

Then, you'll want to share this book not only with all the young children in your life, but anyone who is around children or loves children's litereature.

This offers a great perspective on how bullying can affect others. It also very subtly demonstrates the power of friendship and loyalty, and how important those characteristics are not just in elementary school, but for all ages.

Add new comment