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WHY DO WE FIGHT? by Niki Walker


Conflict, War, and Peace

by Niki Walker

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-926973-86-9
Publisher: Owlkids Books

A penetrating look into the roots of global conflict, the many ways it can begin and possible resolutions.

Attempting to answer the question “Why do we fight?” is ambitious from the start. Following a natural arc by explaining different types of conflict and then contemplating ways conflict can escalate, Walker touches on topics that could each have their own book. However, she keeps the pace lively and the flow of information smooth. Preteen readers may anticipate finding solutions to conflicts in their everyday life, but instead, the focus is on global issues: fighting over natural resources, culture clashes, religious beliefs, etc. Underlying parallels to personal practice can certainly be drawn, but it is not the ultimate purpose of this work. Designed in a visual, infographic style with bold headlines and a sharp yellow, black and white color scheme, the sunny layout provides structure and bounce to a dense topic. In a concluding chapter entitled “What do YOU think?” Walker encourages readers to use their newfound knowledge and tolerance to become global activists. A laudable goal, but directions to getting involved with organizations such as UNICEF’s Voices of Youth or Amnesty International would have been appreciated.

As an overview of global conflict, it’s concise and accessible—remarkably so—but as a call to individual action, it’s less successful. (sources, index, author’s note) (Nonfiction. 11-14)