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Home at Last
Children's Books and Curricula

As a better way of communicating the growing problems of family homelessness and poverty to a younger audience, Dr. Ralph da Costa Nunez wrote his first children's book, Our Wish, in 1997.

Our Wish is the first in a six book series that helps children understand what it is like to be homeless. All of the main characters are lovable animals and are used to help children better relate to and comprehend the difficult topic of family homelessness. Our Wish was followed in the series by Cooper's Tale, Saily's Journey, Voyage to Shelter Cove, Mango's Quest, and the most recent release, Ears Up, Ears Down: A dog’s journey home.

ICPH created accompanying activity books for children to interact and connect with both their peers and the characters. In addition, the animated video collection, Home at Last, was created to go along with these books. The animated videos touch on different ways children are affected by homelessness and poverty and include well-known children’s book authors reading several books from the series aloud. All books and supplementary materials are geared toward grade levels K–5.

Ears Up, Ears Down: A Dog's Journey Home

"Children who read this book will deeply feel its impact, and it won’t be soon forgotten." (ReelMama.com)

When Jim’s Junkyard is closed, Ears Up, Ears Down is left without a home. He spends a night with a family living in their car before arriving at a tent city full of homeless families. Embark on a journey with the curious dog as he makes new friends, overcomes difficulties, and finally finds a place to call home.


Ears Up, Ears Down: Activity Book

Along his journey to find a new home, the adventurous dog Ears Up, Ears Down makes new friends and explores different places. Complete the activities to learn, just like he did!


Home at Last: Stories for Children about Homelessness

Based on the children's books by Ralph da Costa Nunez, Home at Last: Stories for Children about Homelessness is a collection of animated videos on family homelessness and poverty for grades K-5, together on one DVD.


Mango's Quest

Mango's Quest tells the tale of a young, orange-colored hamster who must leave his safe and warm cage in Room 222. Homeless and looking for a place to sleep, he ventures outside of his classroom to search for a new home and befriends many exciting characters on his journey. Together, they help him find his way back to Room 222 where he discovers a home of his own. Mango's Quest is the fifth in our series of children's books designed to introduce school-age children to issues surrounding family homelessness.


Mango's Quest Activity Book

Join Mango in his search for a home of his own! This activity book is the companion to Mango's Quest.


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