a Dyamonde Daniel book by Nikki Grimes
When Dyamonde Daniel admires her classmate Tameeka’s new pink high-top sneakers, Tameeka tells her the key to getting a pair of her own. “Why don’t you tell your mom to buy you some,” she says. “That’s what I do. If I need something, I tell my mom to get it….She’s my mom, and it’s her job to get me whatever I need.” Dyamonde goes home and does just that. The next thing she knows, her mom has packed away her closet, once full of clothes, and has left her with what she really needs: the clothes on her back. Dyamonde suffers and complains through mustard stains and washing her clothes in the sink until she hears that her classmate Isabel’s apartment has been destroyed by a fire. Isabel’s family has lost everything, and Dyamonde comes to understand the difference between want and need as she organizes the community to help Isabel’s family by holding a clothing drive.
Almost Zero is the third book in this beginning chapter book series, and addresses core sustainability concepts, including community action, want vs. need, and personal initiative for making life better for all.
What does want vs. need mean? What does Dyamonde want and what does she need? Is it easy for people to get this mixed up? How does Isabel’s misfortune help teach Dyamonde about what people really need?
Dyamonde organizes a clothing drive to help Isabel’s family. Have you done anything like this? What are other ways one person can act to make a difference?
Do the people in your community get most of what they need? What could your community do to better help people get the things they need?