Twelve days of kindness by Cori Brooke and Fiona Burrows

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New Frontier, 2019. ISBN: 9781925594751. 32pp., hbk.
Nabila is the new girl in school and like many new kids, she's finding it hard to fit in with the established crew, particularly when she looks different to them and eats her strange lunches alone. But Holly comes to her rescue as their common love for soccer takes over. But when both Holly and Nabila are picked for the school team, there is still disunity and the two girls realise if they are to come together to play well, they need a plan . . .
A search for "Twelve Days of Kindness" on the Internet brings up a number of projects and resources, mostly connected to Christmas but this is something that could be developed by a group or an individual at any time to promote kindness, compassion, empathy and build something harmonious. Some schools like to take students on camp in the early days of Term 1 to build bonds for a successful year, but if this is not viable, organising something like Twelve Days of Kindness could be an alternative. Having students directly involved by having them articulate those things they don't like and identifying how such behaviour can be changed and the environment they would like to be in gives ownership and helps them understand the power to change is in their hands. Promoting empathy activities rather than always focusing on the 'don'ts' of bullying can be a new approach that has an impact by making it personal. Again, the solution is theirs to decide and implement.
Author of the CBCA shortlisted All I Want for Christmas is Rain, (as appropriate now as it was in 2016) Brooke has again delivered a story that promotes thought and inspires action. Teacher's notes are available.
Barbara Braxton