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The Kids in Building 160

Books Whose Mission and Theme is Self-Empowerment through Legal Literacy

The Kids in Building 160 is a series of children’s books created by author Jo S. Kittinger and illustrator Chuck Galey, A Breath of Hope (ABA Publishing, 2012; Spanish Ed., ABA Publishing, 2013), Helping a Hero (ABA Publishing, 2013) and The Beauty of Dreams (ABA Publishing, 2014).  The concept was developed by Anthony H. Barash, a former Director of the ABA Center for Pro Bono (2005-2009) and a Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow (2010), to advance the mission of legal literacy as a tool of self-empowerment for those who are unable to afford legal assistance in times of need. The Kids in Building 160, though children’s books, do not offer an unambiguous “happy ending.” That is not the world in which the children and families coping with the circumstances described in these books live. Rather, they offer a promising beginning, enabled by self-empowered kids who can make a difference in their families’ lives.

A Breath of Hope
By Jo S. Kittinger and Chuck Galey

Author Jo S. Kittinger sounds a call for fairness and justice in this picture-book depiction of medical-legal partnerships in action. Brilliantly illustrated by Chuck Galey, the book depicts how medical-legal partnerships and legal aid can transform the lives of families in need. The text focuses on the plight of a small girl suffering with asthma because of a landlord's neglect of an apartment contaminated with mold. Torn between being evicted and the heath of their daughter, the family is connected to a legal representative by the doctor who cares for the child.

The book's worthy message will likely strike a universal chord with families, hospital administrators, doctors, family lawyers and anyone who can promote or benefit from medical-legal partnerships. This is a tender story, touched with sadness for a family in need. Jo S. Kittinger has created a moving parable perfect for use in hospital or institutional settings to explain this important new concept.


The Beauty of Dreams: The Kids in Building 160 series
by Jo S. Kittinger and Chuck Galey

Award winning author Jo S. Kittinger and illustrator Chuck Galey once again draw us into the world of The Kids in Building 160 series in the compelling story of a popular high-performing high school student-athlete and musician who learns from his college counselor that he entered the country illegally as a toddler. He lacks the legal status and documentation necessary for him to obtain financial aid to pursue his dream of a college education, and he is possibly subject to deportation. With an introduction by his younger friend, whom we know from earlier books in the series, A Breath of Hope and Helping a Hero, and a knowledgeable pro bono lawyer, the student finds legal and financial resources that may be available to help him pay for college and enable him to stay in the United States after graduation.

This 32-page picture book is an invaluable immigration primer for readers of all ages. Kittinger s remarkable story of self-empowerment through legal literacy and Galey's beautifully evocative illustrations exemplify the courage needed to embark on a promising beginning toward the beauty of a dream fulfilled.

Helping a Hero
by Jo S. Kittinger and Chuck Galey

In this beautifully illustrated 32-page picture book, a young girl's uncle returns home from military service overseas a changed man -- depressed, moody, unable to sleep, and unable to hold a job. The girl and a friend visit a lawyer who acts as a medical-legal partner, providing legal help to underserved communities in a hospital setting, who in turn connects the girl's uncle with Thresholds, an organization specializing in helping returning veterans.

Award-winning author Jo Kittinger brings the same intimate, straight-forward prose to this picture book as in her previous ABA book, A Breath of Hope, with another story in her Kids in Building 160 series. And Chuck Galey's gorgeous paintings depict both the sense of despair so often felt by vets today, as well as the ray of hope provided by organizations such as Thresholds.

More about Medical-Legal Partnerships Medical-legal partnerships (MLP) put lawyers who provide free legal services into the healthcare setting to help patients and families solve problems that may be related to illness like access to housing and employment, public benefits for people with disabilities, and other areas of legal needs. For more information, go to the American Bar Association's Medical-Legal Partnership Pro Bono Support Project website and the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

Written in a style all can appreciate, get ready for a story that will move and inspire everyone to the simple fact that all of us can somehow Help a Hero.