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Joy Berry's Community Center

A place where all kinds of kids of all ages come together

to have fun while they learn valuable Living Skills


For over thirty years, Joy Berry dedicated herself to creating and developing a collection of self-help books for children one through twelve years of age. Because these cartoon-illustrated books require casts of characters, Joy decided to create a collection of characters that, like the series of books, progress from one age group to the next.

To create these characters, Joy needed to have a common place in which they could interrelate. Since there is a community center in the majority of communities throughout the country, and since the centers are not tied to any ethnic, religious, or socio-economic group, Joy decided to have a community center be the gathering place for the Goodhearts (participants in the day care center), the CC Kids (participants in the after-school program), and the Junkroom Band (a band that practices and records at the center).

Kids often strive to affiliate themselves with kids who are older than they are. They also seem to be more intrigued and stimulated by older kids. For these reasons the ages of the characters for each group go slightly above the age range of the group’s audience. For example, the characters intended for the tween audience, are actually young teens.

Most of the characters in the three groups are brothers and sisters. These sibling relationships are one way the three groups are tied together.

A lot of factors influence how siblings relate to each other, but no factor is as pertinent as parental influence. Parents often advertently or inadvertently inspire sibling rivalry or sibling synergy. All of these factors were taken into consideration when constructing the ten families that comprise the three CC groups.


Age Level: 3-6

The Goodhearts attend the daycare program at the Community Center. Most of them have older brothers or sisters who are part of the CC Kids or the Junkroom Band. The Goodhearts books are 32-page picture books that reinforce the Living Skills taught in Joy Berry’s Let’s Talk About and Help Me Be Good series.

There is one original song to accompany every Goodhearts picture book.


Age Level: 6-9

The CC Kids attend the after-school program for elementary-age children at the Community Center. The books in the CC Kids series are early-reader chapter books for beginning readers. Each of the stories features one or more of the CC Kids.

There is one original song to accompany every CC Kids early-reader chapter book.



Age Level: 9-12

The Junkroom Band is a teen band that practices in the Community Center’s makeshift recording studio. The band’s name is derived from the fact, that at one time, the recording studio was a storage room that stored accumulated junk from the Community Center. The Junkroom Band series is a collection of short stories featuring the characters from the band.



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