Playing Warby Kathy Beckwith, Lea Lyon
* Winner, Skipping Stones Book Award ** Children’s Pick of the List, New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association *One summer day Luke and his friends decide to play their favorite game of war, but Sameer, who is new to the neighborhood, hesitates to join in.When he tells them that he has been in a real war, they don’t believe him. As he tells what
* Winner, Skipping Stones Book Award ** Children’s Pick of the List, New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association *One summer day Luke and his friends decide to play their favorite game of war, but Sameer, who is new to the neighborhood, hesitates to join in.When he tells them that he has been in a real war, they don’t believe him. As he tells what happened to his family, the others start to see their game in a new light.In these times, when violence and war are constantly in the news, children need our help sorting out the fantasy of war play from the painful realities of war. By bringing up the impact of war on one child, who gets upset when his friends engage in war play, and showing us his friends' caring responses, 'Playing War' does what no other children's book before it has done. It provides the forum adults and children need to feel safe talking about the real human impact of war. -Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education and author of Teaching Young Children in Violent Times and The War Play Dilemma
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(Diane Levin, Ph.D., Professor of Education and author of Teaching Young Children in Violent Times and The War Play Dilemma)
Meet the Author
Kathy Beckwith is a mediation trainer from Dayton, Oregon, having worked for over two decades with schools (K-12) and community mediation programs. She has mediated for parent/teen, victim/offender, and neighborhood mediation cases, and volunteers as a school mediation coach.Kathy is an author. Her most recent book isA MIGHTY CASE AGAINST WAR: What America Missed in U.S. History Class and What We (All) Can Do Now, published by Dignity Press. She is also author of the picture bookPlaying War; a YA novel,Critical Mass, dealing with sexual abuse in the lives of teens; and two books related to problem-solving –an elementary school curriculum guide,DON’T SHOOT! We May Both Be on the Same Side, and a picture resource book,If You Choose Not to Hit: A Dozen Skills That Make Kids Powerful Problem-Solvers.Kathy is a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University, Nampa, Idaho (Business Administration), and did a semester of advanced study with the University of the Seven Seas (World Campus Afloat, now “Semester at Sea”). She and her husband Wayne were Peace Corps Volunteers in India, working with a horticulture program in Karnataka. She is amom and grandma, and a baker of blackberry pies in the summer.
Lea Lyon is an award-winning children’s book illustrator, painting teacher, and portrait artist who has made a
childhood dream come true. Lea loved to draw and paint as a child, and she wanted to be a children’s book illustrator. She ended up raising a family, going back to school for an MBA, and working in the corporate world,
but she kept painting. Now, at long last, Lea is a children’s book illustrator with five published picture books: Say
Something, Playing War, Keep Your Ear on the
Ball (all with Tilbury), The Miracle Jar and Operation Marriage. She lives in
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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When I was young, I often played war in the back yard with my cousins. We made forts out of cardboard and collected hard, pea-sized berries from the Chinaball tree in our yard. Each side pelted the other until our supply of berries ran out. Then we called a truce, collected the ammunition that had fallen between forts, and started again.
I was reminded of my old pastime when I read Playing War, written by Kathy Beckwith and illustrated by Lea Lyon. It's summer and the children in the book are bored with playing basketball, lobbing water balloons and riding bikes. They decide to play war and divide into soldiers and enemies, then collect pine cones and sticks to use for ammunition.
But their game changes when one of the friends, Sameer, talks about the real war that kids find in his homeland, and how it affects their lives. Playing War is a picture book intended for elementary school readers. It exposes young readers to current events in an age-appropriate way, and it provides an entrée to talk about some of the issues going in many parts of the world where children are enlisted as soldiers, or their families are affected by fighting. Playing War is a good read-aloud book appropriate for younger girls in mother-daughter book clubs.