This Child, Every Child: A Book about the World’s Children by David J. Smith, illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong
The award-winning team that brought you the fascinating bite-sized statistics of If America Were a Village and If the World Were a Village delves into the lives of children all around the world. The statistics here might surprise you (“children make up about one-third of the world’s population”) and make you think (27 of the 30 countries with the lowest percentage of children are in Europe; 25 of the 30 highest-percentage countries are in Africa). The numbers will certainly disturb you (“nearly 80 million children do not go to school” and “nearly 220 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 work at full-time jobs”) while others will break your heart (over 100 million of the world’s children are homeless).
Globe-trotting educational consultant David J. Smith uses the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to “explore the world’s children – where they live, how they live, and what their families and lives are like.” [Only two countries did not agree to these fundamental rights for children: Somalia because they don’t have a government able to give approval, and our own United States, although apparently, formal approval is expected “soon” – uh, what’s taking so long??!!]
From home to school, health to gender inequality, work to play, war to the children’s future, Smith uses actual Articles from the UN Rights to show how today’s children are faring: “Children do not choose to be exploited, to be forced to work or to fight in wars, to be separated from family and friends or to lose their homes, their health, property, security and safety, and yet millions of children around the world are routinely denied their basic rights.”
Smith enhances his staggering statistics with the imagined lives of individual children. He urges readers, “As you read, look for connections,” as he introduces Ada of Niger who is lucky to go to school, Ystad of Sweden who is an only child while Mamadou of Mali is one of six, Ling of Hong Kong who lives on a houseboat, Hakim of Ethiopia whose village has just one flushing toilet, Chun Hei of Korea who was adopted by an American couple, Sara of India who cannot go to school like her brother but is already engaged to married at just age 9, and so many more.
This Child is the newest addition to Kids Can Press‘ thoughtful CitizenKid series – “A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.” The book is also in generous cahoots with ONEXONE, donating a portion of the book’s sales to support “a range of programs that address children’s fundamental needs for clean water, health care, education, play and adequate food.”
Think how easy this (very) creative team has made it for anyone, everyone to help … just by buying this book! What a worthy investment: your child, this book can nurture that child, every child, and make good change happen, one story at a time.