Our Heroes: How Kids are Making a Difference

Global Oneness Day – Oct. 24, 2014

Our Heroes9781927583418_p0_v1_s260x420Our 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.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

24 thoughts on “Our Heroes: How Kids are Making a Difference

    • I thought you’d enjoy this one! It’s perfect for the classroom and all about what bold, loving and imaginative kids are doing to make a difference in their communities worldwide. This is the third book in the series, and I think my favorite. Janet Wilson’s series can be used by students to focus on different issues. This one is so heartfelt.

  1. What a great compilation! One of my sons raised money for Kyle Weiss’ soccer field campaign. It’s great to read more examples of charity that kids can connect to.

    • That is so cool that you recognized one of featured kids. Kids will connect to these stories. The resources at the end are really a great place to start! Really great classroom book!

  2. I remember your review of “Conservation, Our Rights: How Kids are Changing the World” by Janet Wilson and this looks like another fabulous book by her. I also love the word/concept, UBUNTU!

    • I love Janet’s book! Our Heroes opens with “The Ubuntu Story.” In the story a group of African children are playing. An anthropoloogist offers to give the fastest runner a basket of fruit. To his surprise, the kids take each other’s hands and run to the basket. When asked why they run together when one could win, they shout “ubuntu.” One boy explains “how can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?” It’s a beautiful word that describes a way of living. Love that.

    • Yes, I agree. There is a beautiful quote in the book from one of the U.S. children that I just loved. “The world needs childish thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism,” says Adora Svitak, 12. It give me great hope for the future to see the unselfish and worthwhile things children are doing.

  3. What a beautiful book and your inspiring review makes me want to see if I can get it. We need more books like this, more stories like this to be told to inspire and teach kids around the world what they can do to help one another, or others through difficult times. Thank you for sharing. You review the most awesome books, Pat!

  4. What an incredible book! This is the kind of thing that kids need to be reading. That everyone needs to be reading! There really are good kids out there doing some astounding things. Thanks for sharing Ms Tilton!

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