Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Trouble on Thunder Mountain

Trouble on Thunder Mountain by Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake

The O’Saurus family has been living on Thunder Mountain for many years. One day, they receive a letter in the mail explaining that Mr. Flatbrain of Megafright International has purchased Thunder Mountain and they must move out within 24 hours. Mr. Flatbrain wants to make the mountain flat and build a high-tech plastic mountain them park on the flat land. The dinosaurs are angry and upset, but realize they cannot retaliate with violence to get their mountain back. The animals of Thunder Mountain devise a plan and work together to show everyone how fun and exciting the old mountain is and how it is so much better than the plastic mountain with rides that Mr. Flatbrain has built. At the end of the story, Mr. Flatbrain is defeated and becomes a common worker on the dinosaur-run mountain that he wished to change.
I like this book because it takes a very real issue and portrays it in a story that seems fictional. Our country faces the problem of large corporations taking over smaller companies and land to do as they wish and as they see fit, without thinking of the consequences placed on citizens who live there. This book can help students to understand that this is done and that there are nonviolent ways to go about preventing such drastic changes in our precious land. The story shows the reader how important a close-knit community is and how it is important for community members to work together to bring about a change. When a community is faced with a hardship, they must work together to bring social justice and change through by ensuring their voice is heard.

You can find purchasing information for this book on

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