Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

The Forgiveness Garden

Thompson, Lauren (Author)
Hale, Christy (Illustrator)
Macmillan 2012. 32 pages
First published: 2012
ISBN: 9780312625993 (hardcover)
9781466818323 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, conflict, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Two villages, Gamte and Vayam, have been enemies for as long as anyone can remember. When a Gamte boy named Karune hurls a rock at a Vayam girl, Sama, the cycle of hatred intensifies. But this time, Sama decides she has had enough of the feud and boldly suggests a different course of action based on principles of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Mixed media collage illustrations eloquently reflect the wide range of emotions—hurt, anger, revenge—that the characters feel. Several scenes, depicting faceless villagers on both sides of the divide, suggest how closely the factions resemble one another in their hatred. Character and place names are drawn from Sanskrit words meaning us, them, forgiveness and kindness.

Inspired by the original Garden of Forgiveness in Beirut, Lebanon, and the movement that has sprung up around it, the book offers timeless lessons about forgiveness and the power of dialogue to resolve conflict—perfect fodder for meaningful classroom discussion.

  •  

    Discuss what you think the characters said at the end. What does forgiveness really mean? In what way was Sama brave? And Karune?

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations in the book, especially the colours. How does colour portray mood in the story? What colours portray happiness, and why do you think this is?

  •  

    Find connections between the story and our world today, and note how those connections help you understand the story better. What is the author trying to say about the big ideas?

  •  

    Compare the story with the song “One Tin Soldier” by Joan Baez.

  •  

    Discuss what you think the characters say at the end. What does forgiveness really mean? In what way was Sama brave? And Karune?

  •  

    Discuss the illustrations in the book, especially the colours. How does colour portray mood in the story? What colours portray happiness, and why do you think this is?

  •  

    Find connections between the story and our world today, and note how those connections help you understand the story better. What is the author trying to say about the big ideas?

  •  

    Compare the story with the song “One Tin Soldier” by Joan Baez.

  •  Read the note on the names used in this story. Discuss what they foreshadow.
  •  After reading the first page, stop and reflect. Where do you imagine this hostile valley to be? Why? Discuss your answers in teams before continuing the reading.
  •  In teams, brainstorm vocabulary relating to forgiveness. Use this list to help you write a personal apology or forgiveness poem.
  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Personal Development