Top positive review
Beautiful intergenerational story of honesty, integrity, and hard work
Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2020
When I began to research books to include on my honesty booklist, I came across A Day's Work by Eve Bunting, in lots of my research. Though I generally try to get books from the library before I buy them, neither our school nor local library had this in its collection. I figured anything written by Bunting would be a safe bet to buy sight-unseen, so I scrounged around online to find a way to get this one anyway. And y'all, I am SO glad that we own this important book.
Covering honesty, immigration, language barriers, intergenerational relationships, and more, you can read this one over and over and over again with a different takeaway every time! In A Day's Work, Francisco is trying to help his grandfather, who just moved to California two days ago and speaks no English, find work for a day. Discouraged about their chances, Francisco tells a potential employer that his grandfather is "a fine gardener," though he's actually a carpenter with little to no gardening experience. Francisco feels confident that his lie has worked. But when the boss comes back to check on them, rather than being pleased, he's angry... They've pulled out all the flowers and left the weeds!
Angry at first, Abuelo quickly gains his control and an understanding of Francisco's lie and instructs Francisco to let the boss know that they will come back tomorrow and fix the problem that they've caused. Though Francisco is reluctant to give up another weekend day to work, Abuelo reminds him that "it is the price of the lie."
And this is the beauty of this book. The price of a lie... What a powerful lesson for a child to learn. Our lies always have prices, even though we may think we've gotten away with them initially. Ben is willing to continue to work with Abuelo, because of his integrity. Because he already knows the important things... The importance of honesty, of hard work, of making our wrongs right.
Do you have a favorite Eve Bunting book? We also love One Green Apple, Night Tree, and Yard Sale. You can bet I've put in a request to our local library system to add this to its collection!