In many communities, children will notice people living on the street and start to ask questions.
Carefully written for both U.S. and Canadian audiences, with references to organizations operating in both countries, this slim book combines photos with realistic watercolor illustrations of diverse children asking questions about adult and child homelessness, mental health, poverty, child abuse and neglect, access to education and health care, and refugees. In introducing poverty in both countries (with a focus on urban situations) and then expanding the focus to include international poverty, today’s refugee situation, the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, the authors (a Canadian child psychologist and Google’s “Chief Education Evangelist,” who himself grew up in urban poverty in New York City) may have created a book that is too broad in its reach, but astute adults can help navigate the information. The emphasis here is to help children of some privilege gain empathy and understanding about children and adults who lack these services. This is not a book for children who are living in conditions of poverty themselves. Suggestions about helping people through local, national, and international organizations are provided. The information provided about each topic is limited in scope due to the age range, but the writing is clear and accurate.
A positive attempt at a difficult subject, this book will probably be most useful in situations where caring adults can help children understand and work through their feelings about the topic. (authors’ notes, resources) (Nonfiction. 7-10)