Dynamic Book Duos: Kids Can Make A Difference!

Images of Walkout and I Campaigned for Ice Cream; two picture books perfect to pair for reading comprehension focusing on kids making a difference on this week’s Dynamic Book Duos blog.

Please welcome authors Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw and Tina Shepardson to Dynamic Book Duos– a blog featuring two books that pair together in a meaningful way along with coordinating educational activities to strengthen reading skills. This week’s Dynamic Book Duos pairing focuses on how kids can make a difference in our world.

PERFECT PAIR: Kids Can Make A Difference

Walkout written by Tina Shepardson and illustrated by Terry Sirrell and I Campaigned for Ice Cream written by Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw and illustrated by Wendy Leach show democracy in action. Each book tells the story of young kids who inspire and lead their friends to make a difference in our world!

Book 1: Walkout

Image of the picture book Walkout showing two elementary age girl students waling out of their school to support an important cause

Inspired by a true story, WALKOUT shows democracy in action as Maddie organizes a safe school’s anti-violence walkout. Other kids throughout the States are walking out. But, Maddie’s principal has announced that only the older grades can participate. At the same time, Maddie’s best friend Stella is too scared to help. Can Stella find her courage and join Maddie in walking out?

Book 2: I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy’s Quest for Ice Cream Trucks

Image of the picture book I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy's Quest for Ice Cream Truck with six kids campaigning with signs showing they want ice cream trucks in their city

I Campaigned for Ice Cream is an upbeat, educational, and heartwarming true story of nine-year-old Joshua Lipshaw who petitioned his local government to change an outdated law preventing ice cream trucks from driving through his town. Complete with adorable illustrations by Wendy Leach, this sweet book is a tasty treat for young readers as well as a lesson that they too can make a difference in their communities. Relive Josh’s passionate journey as he works to bring the joy of ice cream trucks to his town.



I Campaigned for Ice Cream:

Local Government

West Bloomfield is a township in the state of Michigan. It’s local government consists of a supervisor and a board of trustees all voted in by the citizens of West Bloomfield. Research your city. What is the structure of your city government? What is the role of each of the members of the government? How does this compare and contrast with the structure of the West Bloomfield Board of Trustees?

What was the process Josh followed to change the law? Do you feel all the steps were necessary? What would you have done differently?

The process to change the law took four months and included three meetings. During that time Josh remained persistent towards his goal. What does it mean to be persistent? What are the characteristics of a persistent person?


Josh wrote one letter and three speeches. Only part of Josh’s speeches are shown in the book. Below is the entire text of Josh’s first speech to the board.

A strong persuasive essay/speech consists of the following:

Look at Josh’s speech with a critical eye. What did he do well? What could he have done better? What changes would you make to increase the strength of his argument?

Both Books – Persuasive Writing:

What does the word persuade mean? Think of a time you wanted to persuade someone to do something or think differently. Provide some examples. Think of times in history where people used the power of persuasion.

Brainstorm topics that you feel strongly about (examples for younger grades: persuading your parents to stay up late, persuading your principal that your school cafeteria should use less plastic).

Write a persuasive essay about a topic that is important to you. Use the TREE format provided in the “Walkout Teacher Guide” linked above or the ICE CREAM CONE format provided in the “I Campaigned for Ice Cream” activity section as a guide to see if you are missing any of the elements of a strong persuasive essay. Revise as needed.


Image of children's author Tina Shepardson in front of a hazy background of a tree

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw

Suzanne Jacobs Lipshaw is an award-winning nonfiction children’s book author and former elementary special education teacher who is passionate about growing young minds. Suzanne’s first nonfiction picture book, I Campaigned for Ice Cream: A Boy’s Quest for Ice Cream Trucks, debuted in April 2019 from Warren Publishing. Her second book Mighty Mahi launched from Doodle and Peck Publishing in March 2022. Suzanne enjoys speaking to schools about writing, leadership, and how kids can make a difference in our world. The proud momma of two grown boys, Suzanne lives in Waterford, MI with her husband and furry writing companion Ziggy. When she’s not dreaming up new writing projects, you can find her kayaking on the lake, hiking the trail, practicing at the yoga studio, or comparing paint swatches at the local Sherwin Williams.

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