Surprising schools to be found around the world include new schools that work with the environment, schools in places where none existed and schools that meet children more than halfway.
Directly addressed to the reader, lively text in short chunks on double-page spreads introduces 23 schools from 20 countries. Each is located on a map, described briefly and shown in colorful photographs emphasizing the students. Sidebars may spotlight a particular student or offer more details about school life, the building process or events from the school’s history. Each spread also includes a boxed fast fact or two. Many of these schools are new, in remote, out-of-the-way places, places where kids weren’t previously served or places where man-made or natural disasters have disrupted children’s lives. The author makes a point of noting the use of local materials and energy-efficient construction, and she gives credit to the founders. Schools for street kids and refugees, one for girls who would otherwise be married, another for children with sensory impairments, schooling by e-mail and unschooling are some of the more unusual examples. The text concludes with a list of websites of schools and sponsoring organizations and another reminder of the U.N. declaration that every child has the right to an education.
Unusual and useful. (acknowledgements, credits, index, map) (Nonfiction. 9-13)