Allen Reads – Companion Books 2018

Diana’s White House Garden

by Elisa Carbone

Diana Hopkins lived in a white house. THE White House. World War II is in full force across the seas. It is 1943, President Roosevelt is in office, and Diana’s father, Harry Hopkins, is his chief advisor. And Diana wants to be part of the war effort. After some well-intentioned missteps (her quarantine sign on her father’s office door was not well-received), the President requests her help with his newest plan for the country’s survival: Victory Gardens!
From award-winning author Elisa Carbone comes the true story of how Diana Hopkins started her own Victory Garden on the White House lawn under the tutelage of Eleanor Roosevelt. With dedication and patience, she showed the nation that the war effort started first on the home front.



Learn more about Elisa Carbone on her website.






A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

by MIchelle Edwards

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, A Hat for Mrs. Goldmanhelps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and

knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.





Learn more about  Michelle Edwards at her website.










As you read, discuss the themes of this year’s books:

  • What makes a family a family?
  • Children can be helpers, no matter their age. How do Ada, the main character in The War That Saved My Life; Diana, the main character of Diana’s White House Garden; and Sophia in A Hat for Mrs. Goldman; all provide help to the adults around them?
  • How were people in different countries affected by World War II? Ada lived in England, while Diana lived in Washington, DC.