Harcourt, 2010 (2010)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch
ith American education coming under fire lately, as well as deplorable conditions in some American public schools, this picture book is both timely and relevant.
, students in Chad, Africa take part in building their own school out of mud bricks. This is a surprise to Thomas, who is going to school for the first time with his sister.
hen he gets to school, there is no building. Thomas arrives at the schoolyard, but there are no classrooms. There are no desks. It doesn't matter. There is a teacher. '
We will build our school,
' she says. '
This is the first lesson.
fter the children build the school, they learn their lessons for a nine-month school year. Soon, the winds and rain destroy the school that the children have built. While the school's structure may have been eradicated, the education received there is a lasting monument, and that is the book's lesson.
lowly, the school disappears until there is almost nothing left. It doesn't matter. The letters have been learned and the knowledge taken away by the children.
his book, with its elegant, dignified drawings, is an important addition to education-related literature for young people.
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