"Maybe she and Theo weren’t that different after all. She cared. That’s all that mattered."

Flint Hill Elementary School is home to your typical schoolchildren: They have hopes and dreams, obsess over video games, hate cleaning their rooms, and love to have fun. But there are also special children attending this particular school whose lives are soon about to change through various circumstances. There’s Jefferson the artist, who gets tasked with painting a mural on the school, and others such as Alec, whose refusal to clean his room requires intervention from City Hall. Seven children will form a group called Code 7 after experiencing situations that help develop their characters and prepare them for the realities of life. After going through their own trials separately, a school project will bring them together and inspire them to share their message with not just the school but the whole town.

Every chapter in this book provides a short story for each of the seven children making up the Code 7 group, though the last chapter also serves to bring the kids together and tie up the story neatly. The children feel authentic, often meaning well but prone to a lack of confidence or misguided morals. The authenticity is ideal, though, for speaking to the book’s audience, enabling children to pursue their dreams and develop the traits that will make them successful, not just as adults but in the present as well. This particular edition is bilingual—English and Spanish—which gives readers a chance to learn some new vocabulary, or at the very least opens the values and message of this story to children who speak only one of these languages. This is a story that manages to be both inspiring and entertaining, making for a useful and fun read for any child who picks it up.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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