While many children groan at the prospect of summer ending and the school year beginning, it’s a ritual for children across the universe — or should be. Why not broaden our students’ perspective with a fascinating peek into other cultures?
In the follow-up to her fine My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World, Margriet Ruurs takes us on a lively tour of 13 diverse schools, all described with crisp prose and shown in sharp, engaging photos. Just imagine students who have to paddle in boats to arrive at school. That’s how you attend a floating school in Cambodia, where life is centered on the water.
Have your kids ever started their school day by chasing the chickens out first? That’s normal at the school under a tree, where Christian and Muslim classmates in Kenya study together, despite the tribal warfare around them.
Some children live at school, which might be a monastery in Myanmar or a boarding school in a castle in Edinburgh, Scotland. Others, like a family in Oregon, stay home to learn. The children start their lessons around 8 a.m. but also pitch in with raising goats and chickens, which they sell to earn money for college.
And in Guatemala, many children travel 6.2 miles by boat to reach their brightly painted village school in the rain forest.
My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World provides fresh fare for an eye-opening read-aloud for children ages 7 to 9. For more great back-to-school titles, see my prior post on libraries and these nonfiction books: