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Children’s Books Reflect Milton Hershey School Sacred Values

Milton Hershey School is excited to celebrate World Book Day on April 23.

Milton S. Hershey valued loyalty, honesty, respect, and integrity. He expected both students and employees to uphold these values. Even the first school children’s book, dating back to 1912, emphasizes character.

This commitment still stands today in the form of our MHS Sacred Values. For each of the four Sacred Values, MHS expects its community to demonstrate essential behaviors—commitment to mission, integrity, positive spirit, and mutual respect.

Reading was an integral part of Mr. Hershey’s life. With his interest in reading and literacy, Mr. Hershey made sure it was a part of MHS from its earliest days.

In celebration of World Book Day on April 23, below is a list of books that reflect these important values that all MHS students learn.

Milton Hershey School celebrates World Book Day on April 23 with a list of books that reflect Milton Hershey School's Sacred Values.

Mutual Respect

1. “The Grasshopper’s Song” by Nikki Giovanni

Angry that his singing is unappreciated by the ants who relied on his music to make their summer work easier, Jimmy Grasshopper decides to sue them for lacking respect and not acknowledging his usefulness in their lives.

2. “Jackie’s Bat” by Marybeth Lorbiecki

Joey, the batboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, learns a hard lesson about respect for people of different races after Jackie Robinson joins the team.

3. “King of the Pond” by Carl Sommer

Tombo, the biggest, fastest, and strongest tadpole in the pond, teases and chases all the other tadpoles, but he comes to regret his bullying when he turns into the smallest, slowest, and weakest frog.

4. “Between Earth & Sky” by Joseph Bruchac

Through the guidance of his uncle and the retelling of various Native American legends, a young boy learns that everything living and inanimate has its place, should be considered sacred, and given respect.

5. “EllRay Jakes Stands Tall” by Sally Warner

Eight-year-old EllRay Jakes, the shortest kid in class and still chosen last at recess, hones his basketball skills with Mr. Havens and earns the respect of his third-grade classmates.


1. “A Big Fat Enormous Lie” by Marjorie Sharmat

A little boy tells a lie to his parents and then is bothered by the big fat lie monster who keeps growing and won’t leave him alone.

2. “Eli’s Lie-O-Meter” by Sandra Levins

Eli learns about the consequences of his fibs and the value of telling the truth.

4. “The Honest-to-Goodness Truth” by Patricia McKissack

After her mother catches her in an untruth, Libby Sullivan promises never to lie again, but soon she must learn that it is not always kind to blurt out the whole truth either.

5. “Spider Boy” by Ralph Fletcher

After moving to another state, Bobby deals with the change by telling people at school made-up stories and then retreating into his world of pet spiders and books about spiders.

Commitment to Mission

1. “Who’s Coming Tonight?” By Jeonglm Choi

When the mean Red Fox plans on stealing the ducks on the lake, three ducks work together to protect and keep their friends safe.

2. “The Hero in Me” by Susan Fitzsimonds

A young boy decides to stand up for what is right and to teach others

3. “Pedrito’s Day” by Luis Garay

When Pedrito replaces, from his own earnings, money he has lost, his mother decides that he is finally big enough for some of his father’s earnings, to be used towards buying him a bicycle.

4. “There Goes Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived” by Matt Tavares

Ted Williams lived a life of dedication and passion. He was an ordinary kid who wanted one thing: to hit a baseball better than anyone else. So he practiced his swing every chance he got. He did fingertip push-ups, ate a lot of food, and practiced his swing again. And then practiced it some more. He worked hard and became an all-star. But when World War II broke out, he put his dreams on hold.

5. “The William Hoy Story: How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game” by Nancy Churnin

All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder―eventually earning a position on a professional team.

Positive Spirit

1. “Let Them Play” by Margot Theis Raven

Presents the story of the 1955 Cannon Street All-Star baseball team, their desire to gain a spot in the Little League program of South Carolina, the boycott against them, and the spirit and determination of young African-Americans in the center of racism and segregation.

2. “I Just Want to be Super” by Andrew Katz

A hyperactive youngster who dreams of having special powers dons a red mask and allows his imagination to run wild, before discovering in the real world that using his strength in a positive and conscientious ways can be just as powerful.

3. “Finklehopper Frog Cheers” by Irene Livingston

When Finklehopper Frog and Ruby Rabbit go to a picnic, their friendship helps them weather some challenges and disappointments.

4. “I think I Am” by Louise L. Hay and Kristina Tracy

Simple text and illustrations explain to young children that they can control their thoughts and words and provide positive affirmations to help them throughout the day.

5. “Enemy Pie” by Derek Munson

Hoping that the enemy pie which his father makes will help him get rid of his enemy, a little boy finds that instead it helps make a new friend.

Finally, we end our celebration of World Book Day with a good book encompassing all sacred values.

1. “The Children’s Book of Virtues” by William Bennett

A collection of stories and poems presented to teach virtues, including compassion, courage, honesty, friendship, and faith.

Read More about MHS Teachers Inspiring Literacy

Milton Hershey School does not discriminate in admissions or other programs and services on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, sex, religious creed or disability. Read important MHS policies on equal opportunity and diversity, equal employment opportunity, and more.