The Can Man
By Laura E. Williams
Illustrated by Craig Orback
Tim’s birthday is just a week away, and more than anything he wants a skateboard. But money is tight, and Tim knows his family cannot afford to buy him a board.
As Tim ponders how he might earn money for a skateboard, he hears The Can Man down the street collecting empty soft drink cans. The clang of the cans in the homeless man’s cart gives Tim an idea. He will collect cans too, and cash them in for the redemption money. By the end of the week, Tim has almost reached his goal—until a couple of chance encounters with The Can Man change everything.
Told with honesty and respect, this timely story shines a perceptive light on current social concerns. Readers will be encouraged to think beyond themselves and celebrate the simple acts of kindness and sharing that make a difference in people’s lives.
About the Creators
is the author of numerous award-winning picture books and middle grade novels. Born in South Korea and adopted by an American family, Williams has since lived and traveled all over the world. She and her husband live in Farmington, Connecticut. Visit her on the Web at lauraewilliams.com.
Photo: Michael F. Metayer
is a fine artist who has illustrated many highly praised books for children, several of which focus on historical subjects. The Can Man especially appealed to Orback because of its contemporary topic and setting. In addition to creating fine art and illustrations, Orback teaches children’s book illustration and oil painting at local community colleges. He lives near Seattle, Washington. You can find him online at craigorback.com.
Photo: Jessica Silks
Reviews & CommentsWendy Greenley, Noodling with Words
Forever, For Always, No Matter What...
Kelley Goodfield, Sacopee Valley Middle School
Kiss the Book
Betty Liverman, Teacher Librarian at Tucson Unified School District
Dr. Gay Ward, University of Wisconsin
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Kid's Home Library
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Lore Calabrese, Children's Book Examiner
I'm Not the Nanny
Chicago Sun Times
VintageGent's Menswear Daily
NY Metro Parents
Midwest Book Review
School Library Journal
A Psych Mommy
Rutgers Project on Economics and Children
About This Title
New York State Reading Association
Horace Mann Upstanders Children's Literature Award, Honor Book
Keystone to Reading Book Awards
Keystone State Reading Association
Show Me Readers Nominee
Missouri Association of School Librarians
Interest Level:Grades K - 5
Reading Level:Grades 2 - 3
Counting Money/Everyday Math, Sharing & Giving, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Neighbors, Multiethnic interest, Home, Friendship, Poverty, Empathy/Compassion, Gratitude, Integrity/Honesty , Respect/Citizenship, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Conflict resolution, Courage, Economics/Finance, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Realistic Fiction, Responsibility, Self Control/Self Regulation