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RYAN AND JIMMY by Herb Shoveller


and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together

by Herb Shoveller

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-55337-967-5
Publisher: Kids Can

When Ryan Hreljac’s first-grade teacher explained that it would cost only $70 to build a well to supply clean water for an entire village in Africa, Ryan, with his parents’ encouragement, decided to raise the money himself by doing household chores. Undeterred by setbacks, he gradually gained media attention, received donations from individuals and organizations throughout Canada and eventually traveled to Uganda for the unveiling of the well. There Ryan met Akana Jimmy, a young Ugandan orphan who had been his pen pal. The two were instantly close friends, and their lives became forever intertwined. As military tension increased in Uganda, Jimmy was kidnapped by rebels, and though he managed to escape, his life was still at risk. The Hreljacs helped bring him to Canada, where he was granted asylum, became a member of their family and successfully adjusted to an entirely new way of life. This inspiring true story of survival, friendship and activism is never preachy, and the text, dotted with color photographs, carefully preserves a child’s eye view throughout. (Nonfiction. 7-12)