My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World

( 2 )

Overview


An engaging look at some of the world's most unusual schools. At a school that sits on the edge of the Sahara, students are learning to speak English from a teacher who stands in front of a Webcam in North America. These students are learning in a virtual classroom. In another part of the world, kids aren't waiting to ride the bus to school—they are waiting to hop in a boat that will take them to a school that floats on a river. And some kids don't mind heights, especially those who attend a school on the slope ...
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Overview


An engaging look at some of the world's most unusual schools. At a school that sits on the edge of the Sahara, students are learning to speak English from a teacher who stands in front of a Webcam in North America. These students are learning in a virtual classroom. In another part of the world, kids aren't waiting to ride the bus to school—they are waiting to hop in a boat that will take them to a school that floats on a river. And some kids don't mind heights, especially those who attend a school on the slope of a mountain in the Himalayas, in one of the most remote corners of the earth. Margriet Ruurs contacted teachers and volunteers, many of whom took cameras in hand to photograph their schools and students. In this lively photo-essay, readers get to know students—from the arid plains of southern Afghanistan to the rain forests of Guatemala—who are pursuing their dreams of a brighter future.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Accessible and inspiring. . . . Impressive in scope. . . . An excellent choice for the classroom and a strong introduction to such topics as global diversity and the importance of education." --Kirkus Reviews

"Gives a good sense of the vastly different educational experiences of children around the world." --Booklist

Children's Literature - Kristy Lyn Sutorius
In the same vein as her My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World, Margriet Ruurs shines a magnifying glass on the average school day of students in twelve different countries. Each two-page spread tells the story of one type of school, ranging from more traditional school settings to a homeschool, a school under a tree, and one on a cruise liner! The country's map, capital, flag, population statistics, and a short paragraph about the nation hugs the corner and photos of students are liberally peppered throughout. The book is a testament to diversity around the world and within the world's schools. Destinations include Afghanistan, Guatemala, Scotland, Malaysia and more. Ruurs' gift for narrative and her ability to relay the personal stories of kids is what sets her apart from other non-fiction authors. A couple of the photos lack clarity, however, it does not detract from the overall impact of the book. Her sophomore effort at a photojournalist style is sure to be met with the same enthusiasm as her first. Reviewer: Kristy Lyn Sutorius
School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—From stories and photos she received from people around the world, Ruurs chose 13 school situations to share with readers. She shows the great contrasts that exist, even in a geographic region, where an international school in Malaysia has a library with 16,000 books while the Rajgir Monastery School in nearby Myanmar has "almost no teaching materials such as maps, posters, or even books." The book also demonstrates that children learn in a variety of settings by featuring a boarding school in Scotland and classes provided by radio and the Internet in the Australian outback. An inset box on each spread includes a map, flag, and a few facts about the featured area. Ruurs mentions the work of charitable organizations and volunteer groups in countries including Guatemala and India and notes setbacks such as the destruction of a school in Afghanistan. Still, the overriding tone is optimistic that more children, girls as well as boys, will participate in education around the world. This book might also be paired with Listen to the Wind (Dial, 2009), Greg Mortenson's personal account of establishing schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kirkus Reviews
Beginning with a quote from the UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" that states that everyone has the right to an education, this selection describes an assortment of schools of various types and shapes in different locations across the globe. A huge diversity is explored and described-traditional classrooms, homeschooling, distance learning, community and nongovernment schools, international schools, specially designed buildings, outdoor learning spaces and even boats. Each spread presents a school in a design that includes the national flag, a map and facts about the country, interesting photographs of the school and students, general descriptions of the location and type of school and whom it serves and the transportation involved, as well as the words and thoughts of children who attend. Accessible and inspiring, the depictions of these 13 schools are impressive in scope, and the sheer number of similarities and differences between the schools makes for a fascinating read. An excellent choice for the classroom and a strong introduction to such topics as global diversity and the importance of education. (Nonfiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590786017
  • Publisher: Highlights Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 623,364
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: NC960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Margriet Ruurs has a master's degree in education from Simon Fraser University and has studied the use of technology in teaching reading and writing to children. She speaks to parents, teachers, and librarians at conferences all around North America. She lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 19, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The concept of this book works well for teaching about diversity

    The concept of this book works well for teaching about diversity in the daily life of children around the world. The 13 schools are each given a two-page spread with color photos and a text box showing a map of the region with the particular country shown in a box, a picture of the country's flag, and about five sentences about the country itself. Readers learns about students who live far from a population center using computers to connect with teachers, students who are home-schooled, students who paddle small boats from home to a larger boat that serves as their school, and students whose schools are monasteries and castles.

    A couple issues with the book struck me immediately: the title, "My School in the Rain Forest," seems to indicate that the book is solely about one school in the rain forest, which it is not. The subtitle, "How Children Attend School Around the World," is a better representation of the book's contents. Also, there are two mistakes relating to country maps. The world map at the beginning of the book correctly shows the countries that include the schools being discussed, but on the two-page spreads, Afghanistan and Myanmar are incorrectly labelled in the box. This lack of editing brings my original rating of 4 stars to 3.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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