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This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children

av David J. Smith

Serier: Citizen Kid

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
664310,926 (3.9)Ingen/inga
Examines how children from different countries around the world live and how their lives differ from children elsewhere, including issues such as access to water, healthcare, and education.
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Visar 4 av 4
This Child, Every Child uses statistics, stories and illustrations to draw kids into the world beyond their own borders and provide a window into the lives of their fellow children. As young readers will discover, there are striking disparities in the way children live. Some children lack opportunities that others take for granted. What is it like to be a girl in Niger? How are some children forced into war? How do children around the world differ in their home and school lives? This Child, Every Child answers such questions and sets children's lives against the rights they are guaranteed under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  wichitafriendsschool | Jun 18, 2018 |
Ling is a young girl, living on a boat in the Aberdeen Harbor in Hong Kong. Temani is a five-year-old Yemani boy whose family had to move due to inter-tribal war. Mamadou is eleven and lives in a village near Bamako, the capital of Mali, with his father and his father’s two wives. These are just three of the dozens of fictional children whose stories are told by David J Smith in “This Child, Every Child,” an overviewed look at the many different ways children live in this world. Using the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child as an outline, Smith discusses the diverse ways these rights may affect children in different countries and cultures. He includes the entire convention in the back of the book, published in “Child Friendly Language” so young readers won’t have difficulty understanding. Shelag Armstrong’s acrylic paint illustrations are surprisingly thoughtful (see p.21 for illustration of western-clad mother and daughter peering through a mirror at their reflections, wearing the head scarves native to their home country, Iran). The book is text-heavy, targeting a slightly older audience than the illustrations would suppose leading to a narrower audience scope, which is unfortunate – the book is packed with helpful, insightful perspectives on diversity. Recommended for fourth- and fifth grade. ( )
  sroslund | Nov 30, 2011 |
This Child, Every Child consists of twelve sections each highlighting one issue affecting children and their rights (i.e., family structure, access to necessary resources, child labor, child soldiers, etc.). One spread is devoted to each section, which presents the stories of fictional children that represent real-life situations and illustrate the statistics given on each topic. Each section also contains select articles from the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The entire document (in a child friendly version from UNICEF Canada) is included at the end of the book. The final pages of the book also include discussion questions and steps for action that adults can share with children, as well as the sources of information used in the book.

Throughout the book, the author makes connections between the facts and what they mean on a day-to-day basis for children across the globe. For instance, after giving statistics on the percent of the population children make up in various countries, the author explains that "countries with a high percentage of children often have a hard time providing services for all of them. Education, medical care and other resources are expensive, and, therefore, not widely available." Comments like these add humanity to the bare numbers and point out realities to children that they were most likely unaware of formerly (such as the idea that seeing a doctor when sick may not be possible if the required finances are not available).

Likewise, the author notes early on that "children who live in poverty, generally speaking, have shorter life spans than children elsewhere because they do not have adequate food supplies, medical care or access to schools and clean water. Other more fortunate children don’t have to worry about these things." It is also noted that family sizes and structures are affected by monetary resources as some families will have more children who can support the overall family income or will have extended family living all under one roof to save money. In addition, the author notes that less education and other beneficial opportunities for girls means more women in poverty later and that the 220 million children who work full-time for little or no pay are often in hazardous jobs with high risks of accidents. Again, this helps put the numbers in context and explain why the current situations for some children are disastrous. These explanations also help to illustrate economic concepts such as scarcity and wants versus needs. And, they make the concept of money more tangible to children – and show the wide-reaching effects of poverty.

Shelagh Armstrong's gentle illustrations perfectly match the text, but their soft coloring and shading help to disarm images that could be potentially very disconcerting, such as a child sleeping next to a gun in the section on war and its effects on children.

As some of the book is disconcerting, the author notes that "this book may not be comfortable to read, but the topic – the presence or absence of basic human rights in the lives of children – is an important one." Among the uncomfortable topics touched upon are child marriage, kidnapping, and homelessness. This is reason to give parents and educators pause about introducing this book to very young readers. Nevertheless, the book is packed with relevant and timely facts and lessons not only about economic concepts, but also about the worldwide population, cultural differences, and mostly importantly, children's rights in a global society. It is a read not to be missed.

I reviewed this book for EconKids. Read the full review here: http://econkids.rutgers.edu/new-picture-books-in-2011-first-word-q-z/2054-this-c... ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Jun 8, 2011 |
I've always planned to have a charity component of our summer reading program and I'm thinking this summer or next summer will be THE summer! With that in mind, I've been looking at some of Kids Can Press's excellent CitizenKid series which help children explore the world globally and build compassion and helping others into their lives.

David J. Smith takes global statistics in these two books and makes them understandable on a child's level. If the World Were a Village consolidates the billions of people in the world into 100, then has sections showing us the nationalities and languages of fractions of those people, ages, and religions. For example, of the 100 people in the "world village" only 10 are children between 5 and 9, while 17 are between 20 and 29.

Then Smith moves into how these 100 people share the world's resources, looking at allocation of food, access to clean air and water, school and work, division of money and possessions, access to energy, and world health.

Finally, the author projects numbers for the future with the warning that many think "the village" may be seriously overcrowded by 2150. Author's notes give parents and teachers numerous ways to encourage children to think globally and foster compassion and a final note discusses sources and how Smith arrived at the calculations. This is the second edition of If the world were a village and has updated statistics from 2010.

Smith's second book, This Child, Every Child also includes statistics, but focuses specifically on the rights of children and looks at the status of children around the world. The foreward introduces us to the charity ONEXONE which is associated with this book. 50% of the profits from This child go to ONEXONE, and will be used specifically to get books to children in Haiti. This charity focuses on the needs of children in five major areas, water, hunger, healthcare, education, and play, so they are a good fit for this book, which introduces us to children's rights. This Child begins with an overview of the world's children and an introduction to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, along with statistics of how many children make up the world population. In each section, we see general statistics on children in that particular area, a specific focus on one or two contrasting children, and a simple summary of the articles from the convention which affect that area. For example, in "Children at School" we are told percentages of children who attend school and who do not, who are literate and illiterate. Then we see the story of Salmaa, whose family moved from Iran to Canada so she could go to school instead of working. With a better education and more opportunities, Salmaa hopes to be a doctor. The section finishes with the Conventions article on children's right to a good quality education.

These sections cover families, homes, health, stability (moving, migrant populations), school, equality for boys and girls, working children, play, children and war, and a final section on children in the future.

There is a complete list of all the articles of the convention in child-friendly language and a section of ideas and suggestions on learning more about the children of the world, creating global consciousness and conscience, and some suggestions on getting involved. An additional note on sources explains where the statistics came from, and presumably the stories of the individual children.

These two books break down large, complex problems and ideas to a child's level. They're great background information and would be excellent resources for a school or for a charitable project in a library, such as I'm planning. However, I wouldn't suggest using these books alone - frankly, they're really depressing, despite their attempts to show a hopeful view of the future. I would make it a rule never to show children problems on such a huge global scale without giving them a way to help or beginnings of ways to solve the problem. Both of these books include suggestions on raising global consciousness, but don't really have specific ways for children to get involved. This child does have some more specific suggestions, but they're geared towards raising consciousness of world problems.

I've labeled these books both beginning chapters and middle grade, as they're suitable for both ages. Younger children will need to read these with the help and input of a teacher or parent, while older children can explore them on their own - and maybe come up with some ways they can help.

Verdict: These are must have books for your nonfiction section, but I strongly suggest pairing them with several other titles from the CitizenKid series before promoting them or putting them on display. One Hen and Good Garden by Katie Milway and Ryan and Jimmy by Herb Shoveiler (links go to the programs associated with those books) offer concrete ways to get involved and show kids there is hope for the future. We need kids to have the background and see what needs to be fixed, then have ways they can help and hope for the future together. I strongly recommend purchasing these five titles as a group and working with your teen advisory board or younger children to put together charitable components for your summer reading program!

If the world were a village, 2nd edition
ISBN: 9781554535958; Published February 1, 2011 (2nd ed.); Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates.
This child, Every child
ISBN: 9781554534661; Published February 1, 2011; Review copy provided by publisher through Raab Associates.
  JeanLittleLibrary | Apr 11, 2011 |
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