The Boy Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews. This children's book is based on The Butterfly Effect, also by Andy Andrews, with the main idea that everything we do matters.
The story starts with Norman Borlaug as a child playing in the fields. He later went on, as the book tells us, to use his knowledge of agriculture to save two billion people. But why was this possible? The story goes back to Henry Wallace and how he influenced Norman's life. And then back to George Washington Carver's influence on Vice President Wallace, and Moses Carver's impact on George Washington Carver's life. Essentially, the book is four short biographies, spanning over a hundred years, all woven together beautifully.
One great aspect of this book for me is that there is a free PreK-2nd grade curriculum available at the author's website. I thought this guide was very usable in a home setting, particularly some of the discussion questions and the vocabulary words.
Back to the book. The illustrations are amazing, like stepping into a watercolor landscape. And the butterflies throughout the book are incredible, but then I am particularly fond of butterflies.
The story, too, is told so well. It really drew in my kids, and the first grader was pretty excited when he realized who the student named George was. This led to some great conversations, especially with the help of the questions on the education page.
This is a book we will read over and over again. There is so much available for us to discuss -- the detail in the artwork, the choices being made by the people in the story, the vocabulary, the idea of our choices making a difference...
I highly recommend this one.