Global Oneness Day – Oct. 24, 2014
Our Heroes: How Kids Are Making a Difference
Janet Wilson, Author and Illustrator
Second Story Press, Biography, September 2014
Suitable for Ages: 7-12
Themes: Child Activism, Reformers, Oneness, Kindness, Social Justice
Opening: “Ubuntu is a word that describes a way of living. It encourages us to treat each other with kindness because all humans are connected. Ubuntu is compassion for ourselves, for others near and far, and for the Earth. Ubuntu is our humanity.”
Book Synopsis: Our Heroes is a collection of true stories about child activists who have opened their hearts and minds to creatively solve the global problems of poverty, hunger and the right to receive an education. Meet Andrew Adansi-Bonnah, 11, from Ghana, who raised thousands of dollars to feed refugee children in Somalia. Alaina Podmorow, 9, from Canada, founded an organization to raise money to train Afghani teachers, pay salaries, and buy books to educate girls and women, and support an orphanage. Kyle Weiss, 13, from the USA, and his brother Garrett, raised money to build soccer fields near schools across Africa where children who have experienced trauma or conflict could heal. Arti Verma,12, from India, became an agent for social change when she spoke to her village leaders about abolishing the discriminating caste system. Arti and her classmates led rallies and lower caste children –the untouchables– were allowed in schools.
Why I like this book: Janet Wilson is an author who writes the stories I want to read and gives me hope for the future of our global community. She beautifully captures each child’s spirit and tugs at my heartstrings. Our Heroes is inspiring, powerful and thought-provoking. It is the third book in Wilson’s series about child activism. True to her style, Wilson showcases 10 young activists from around the globe who are on a mission to improve the lives of others. Her kid-friendly, double-page spreads feature an illustrated child’s portrait, information on what the child is doing to improve the quality of life in a community, pictures, and sidebars featuring other children activists. Winter says, “The children in this book never set out to be heroes or to be famous, but in acting on the kindness in their hearts, they have made a difference. They have all planted seed of compassion and love.”
Janet Wilson is an artist and author of many picture books. I’ve reviewed her other two books on child activism, Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet and Our Rights: How Kids are Changing the World, which are popular with educators and students. Winter’s books have won many awards.
Resources: The book is a resource. At the end there is a section for students on “What YOUth Can Do,” that will spark many lively discussions and encourage kids to think about what they may do alone or together to make the world a better place. What will you do? Visit Janet Wilson at her website.
Our Heroes is the perfect book to share today with over 50,000 people celebrating Global Oneness Day. It was created by Humanity’s Team in 2010. Central to its theme is solidarity and recognizing our similarities. This year it will begin at dawn in Australia and spread as the sun rises around the world. On Global Oneness Day, Humanity’s Team “invites people to take this awareness of our Oneness public for one day, to remind others of our fundamental interconnection with all people and all life.”
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.