Rainbow Allies: The True Story of Kids Who Stood Against Hate

Beaming Bks. Jul. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781506488448.
K-Gr 4–Right out of the headlines, this story of a neighborhood where everyone is welcome may sound too good to be true, but sometimes people are just that incredible. Everyone takes care of one another in Natick, MA, and “When Cari, one of the neighbors, married, everyone was happy to meet her wife, Lauri. Their dogs, Twink and Scout, were welcomed too.” Then in 2016, Cari and Lauri returned to their home to find their rainbow flag missing, their house egged, and Twink and Scout terrified. The couple was in despair and a little afraid. The children in the community gathered enough rainbow flags for any household that wanted one. Everyone flew the flags high. This gesture not only comforted the couple but was then modeled by neighboring communities. The only false note is in the colorful digital illustrations, where there are no driveways; the tidy houses sit like unused boxes in one charming scene after another of idyllic rolling hills. Children will glide past this detail and fall in love with the message that hate did not win. Churnin’s telling is sturdy and impassioned about the message, that everyone is welcome. It’s worth repeating, again and again.
VERDICT A little good news, for once, amplified into an easy book to work into community, LGBTQIA+, politics, and civics units.

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