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Kids Picture Book – Walking for Water

WALKING FOR WATER:
How One Boy Stood Up for Gender Equality

Written by Susan Hughes

Illustrated by Nicole Miles

(Kids Can Press; $17.99, Ages 6-8)

 

walking for water book cover

 

 

There are over a dozen terrific books in the Citizen Kid series and the latest, Walking for Water by award-winning author Susan Hughes, is no exception. This story, inspired by “the recent experience of a thoughtful and fair-minded 13-year-old Malawian boy” takes readers to the landlocked country in southeastern Africa to meet eight-year-old twins Victor and his sister, Linesi.

Readers know right from the start that the pair are close. On this day, however, the two who usually do so many things together, including attending school, will now be apart. In Victor and Linesi’s community when girls turn eight they are expected to leave school and help with chores. That includes fetching water five times a day, water used for “drinking, cooking and washing.” Victor enjoys school so he feels bad that his sister has to miss out on the learning just because she’s a girl.

 

int1 walking for water women by the river
Interior spread from Walking for Water written by Susan Hughes and illustrated by Nicole Miles, Kids Can Press ©2021.

 

When a new teacher asks the students to think about gender equality in their own lives, Victor doesn’t have to look far to find an example. And when he tries to share what he learned in school with his sister, Victor sees she is too exhausted from her day’s work to concentrate on math. This realization prompts Victor to propose a plan to his mama and sister, one that involves taking turns doing the chores enabling Linesi to alternate days at school with him. Yes!! I cheered when I discovered the selfless gesture of Victor.

 

int2 walking for water victor thinking
Interior spread from Walking for Water written by Susan Hughes and illustrated by Nicole Miles, Kids Can Press ©2021.

 

This caring approach to gender equality is not only welcomed by Victor’s teacher but it’s emulated by Victor’s best friend, Chikondi who takes over for his sister, Enifa, on alternate days. The friends can now share what they learn with their sisters who are less tired and in turn, the sisters can do the same.

Illustrator Nicole Miles brings warmth, heart, and simplicity to her illustrations. The book, described by the publisher as a graphic novel/picture book hybrid format, allows Miles to not only have fun with her art but to add more activity to the spreads. A particular favorite, with its rich earthy tones, is of Victor joining the girls and women on their way to collect water.

 

int3 Walking for Water by the kachere tree
Interior spread from Walking for Water written by Susan Hughes and illustrated by Nicole Miles, Kids Can Press ©2021.

 

This hopeful, engaging, and educational story will be an eye-opener for children on many levels. It not only demonstrates the power of one innovative individual to effect change, in this case for gender equality, but it also presents traditions and lifestyles different from ours. Additionally, it shows how important the need still is for access to clean water in the 21st century. Hughes’s Author’s Note and resources as well as a glossary of Chichewa words in the back matter (which are peppered throughout the story) provide additional avenues to further explore topics raised in Walking for Water. I’m glad that Hughes chose to use the twins as her focus for this story because of the sharp contrasts between the siblings that readers will understand immediately. Hughes mentions in the back matter that change is coming to Malawi and hopefully more opportunities for girls to pursue their aspirations will follow.

  •  Reviewed by Ronna Mandel

 

 

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Be An American Girl All Summer Long With Read-A-Palooza & An Exciting Book Giveaway!

AMERICAN GIRL ENCOURAGES READING AND FUN
WITH READ-A-PALOOZA!
 

 (Plus you’ll help Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program when you buy American Girl books)

Enter below today for your chance to win a bunch of the best books for summer reading

In conjunction with American Girl’s super summer celebration of reading called Read-a-palooza, Good Reads With Ronna is offering a great giveaway. It’s just the right time to join the millions of girls who’ve grown up with American Girl’s award-winning books and discover the delights of reading all summer long. So get out your beach bag, sunblock, swim suit and some sunglasses and get ready to dive in to a good time

Books shown here do not necessarily reflect titles offered.
Please refer to list on the left.

One winner will receive a selection of summer reading including:  

  • McKenna (A 2012 Girl of the Year book)
  • McKenna Ready to Fly (A 2012 Girl of the Year book) 
  • The nonfiction advice book, Take the Challenge
  • The nonfiction advice book, A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself
  • The Innerstar University Book (these are “choose your own ending” books), Behind the Scenes
  • A Cecile Mystery, The Cameo Necklace

Click here to enter with your name and address, then leave a comment below and remember to
LIKE Good Reads With Ronna on Facebook  for your chance to win. Contest ends midnight on Weds., May 30. Scroll down for contest rules. Good luck!

Keep your girls away from electronics and get them into books to sharpen their reading skills and keep them happily entertained while away from school. American Girl’s Read-a-palooza, a summer reading program created for girls ages 8 to 12, is packed with fun activities and incentives that encourage literacy. Read-a-palooza takes place May 1 to September 3, 2012, and also includes a charitable partnership with Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program.

To participate in Read-a-palooza, girls can visit americangirl.com/reading, where they can download colorful bookmarks and free book-related content, such as tips and materials for starting a book club. They’ll also be able to do reading challenges and take fun, interactive quizzes. Starting in June, girls can participate in Read-a-palooza by visiting an American Girl retail store, where free reading events will be offered all summer long.

To further emphasize the importance of reading and to help a great cause during its Read-a-palooza campaign, American Girl is partnering with Save the Children’s U.S. literacy program. From May 1 through September 3, 2012, $1 of every book purchased through American Girl (up to a maximum of $100,000) will support Save the Children’s efforts to raise literacy rates in impoverished communities by providing basic education and equipping schools and teachers with reading materials. In addition, American Girl will make its third donation of books to Save the Children this fall, bringing the value of the company’s total book donation to nearly $1.5 million.

For more information about Read-a-palooza and American Girl’s partnership with Save the Children, visit americangirl.com/reading.

AMERICAN GIRL READ-A-PALOOZA GIVEAWAY RULES

TO ENTER – We are giving away 1 prize of 6 assorted American Girl books to include  (2) Girl of the Year books: McKenna and McKenna Ready to Fly, (1) Take The Challenge,(1) A Smart Girl’s Guide to Liking Herself, (1) The Innerstar University Book: Behind the Scenes, (1) A Cecile Mystery: The Cameo Necklace worth a total of $49.70.

  1. This giveaway ends at midnight on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 with one winner selected on Thursday, May 31st. Winner will be notified by email so be sure to include your name, address, (no P.O. Boxes please) and phone number in an email to Ronna.L.Mandel@gmail.com. Please write American Girl Giveaway in the subject line.
  2. For a chance to be the winner please leave a comment on the giveaway blog post (no one or two word comments please). Be sure to LIKE  Good Reads With Ronna on Facebook for an additional entry and follow us on Twitter @goodreadsronna for an additional entry to the giveaway, too. If you don’t provide an email where you can be contacted your chance to win is forfeited.

This giveaway will run through midnight on May 30,  2012 (PST). Winner will be chosen using Random.org from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us at Ronna.L.Mandel@gmail.com before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.

American Introduces Read-a-palooza

About American Girl

American Girl Brands is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mattel, (NASDAQ:MAT, www.mattel.com), the world’s leading toy company. Since American Girl’s inception in 1986, the company has devoted its entire business to celebrating the potential of girls ages 3 to 12. American Girl encourages girls to dream, to grow, to aspire, to create, and to imagine through a wide range of engaging and insightful books, age-appropriate and educational products, and unforgettable experiences. In meeting its mission with a vigilant eye toward quality and service, American Girl has earned the loyal following of millions of girls and the praise and trust of parents and educators. To learn more about American Girl or to request a free catalogue, call 1-800-845-0005, or visit www.americangirl.com 

About Save the Children

Save the Children’s U.S. Programs work to break the cycle of poverty and improve the lives of children by ensuring they have the resources they need—access to a quality education, healthy foods, and opportunities to grow and develop in a nurturing environment. When disasters like hurricanes and wildfires strike, Save the Children is among the first on the ground ensuring the needs of children are being met.

Save the Children’s early childhood education, literacy, physical activity and nutrition, and emergency response programs reached more than 147,000 children and families in the United States last year alone. For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org/usa.


 

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