The Soup Movement
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Thirteen-year-old Jordan and Rio meet in hospital where they are both having treatment for cancer. Their friendship really blossoms, and they agree to spend a whole year doing lovely things to people and keep spreading the kindnesses all over the world. They plan to meet exactly a year later to see how much things have changed.
Cut forward to Jordan’s life now he’s in remission from cancer and out of hospital. His family have moved to a boring suburb, where the air is cleaner. But Jordan is finding it difficult to make friends and fit in, so when his mum gives him some delicious homemade (and ‘uncool’) soup to take to school, he gives it to a homeless man called Harry. Harry loves it, and so in the spirit of doing kind things for people, Jordan ends up secretly running a soup kitchen for all the homeless people in town.
The story unfolds via hospital blogs back from when Jordan was in hospital and also from Jordan’s present-day reality in the suburbs, but flows well and doesn’t get too complicated. It’s full of warmth and explores some interesting ideas about the power of kindness, and about social justice and taking action for what you feel strongly about. It’s also about falling in love.
Very funny and deeply moving, this is a lovely book for children in the early years of secondary school, with lots to chew on, and older teens might want to move onto John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars a bit later on.