Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together

( 2 )

Overview

It costs a lot of money to build a well in Africa -- a lot more than Ryan Hreljac had thought. Still, the six year old kept doing chores around his parents' house, even after he learned it could take him years to earn enough money. Then a friend of the family wrote an article in the local newspaper about Ryan's wish to build a well to supply people with safe, clean water. Before long, ripples of goodwill began spreading. People started sending money to help pay for Ryan's well. Ryan was interviewed on television....
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Overview

It costs a lot of money to build a well in Africa -- a lot more than Ryan Hreljac had thought. Still, the six year old kept doing chores around his parents' house, even after he learned it could take him years to earn enough money. Then a friend of the family wrote an article in the local newspaper about Ryan's wish to build a well to supply people with safe, clean water. Before long, ripples of goodwill began spreading. People started sending money to help pay for Ryan's well. Ryan was interviewed on television. His dream of a well became an international news story. In Agweo, Uganda, villagers were used to walking a long way every day in search of water. What they found was often brown and smelly and made a lot of people sick. But when Ryan's well was built, life in the village changed for the better. A young orphan named Akana Jimmy longed for a chance to thank Ryan in person for this gift of life -- clean water. When they finally meet, an unbreakable bond unites these boys from very different backgrounds, and a long and sometimes life-threatening journey begins. Ryan and Jimmy is part of CitizenKid: A collection of books that inform children about the world and inspire them to be better global citizens.
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Editorial Reviews

LMC Library Media Connection
A truly inspirational story, this book can effectively teach about problems and solutions.
OprahSelects.com
Ryan and Jimmy is a true story of friendship and compassion in which a simple wish to help others brings focus to the necessities that unite us all.
Publishers Weekly
Shoveller's (Ryan's great-uncle) text-heavy narrative relays the inspiring story of a Canadian boy's efforts to build a well in a Ugandan village-and how that campaign spawned additional successful ventures (see Children's Bookshelf, Oct. 19). In 1998, Ryan learned from his first-grade teacher about the lack of safe drinking water in many parts of the world and performed chores to raise the $70 that his teacher told him would finance a well to supply an African village with clean water. When the people at WaterCan (who help provide safe water in poor countries), however, told Ryan that his $70 would only purchase a hand pump for a well, the determined boy stepped up his efforts and inspired an entire community to help raise the full $2,000 necessary. Soon thereafter, Ryan's teacher matched up her students with pen pals in Uganda. Here, the narrative shifts to Jimmy, Ryan's pen pal from the village where Ryan's well would be built. Ryan and Jimmy eventually met in 2000, when Ryan and his parents traveled to Uganda for the well's ceremonial opening. The overwrought, workmanlike text may be off-putting to some readers ("There's an interesting picture of this day in school in which Ryan's blond head pops up in the middle of a sea of studious black faces," reads a passage near the aforementioned photo). Yet the book's triumphant can-do message will keep most turning the pages. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Kristy Lyn Sutorius
Ryan Hreljac of Kemptville, Ontario, made big dreams come true for a village full of people in Africa. When his first-grade teacher explained that it would only cost $70 to purchase a well for an entire community, Ryan was driven to succeed. When he was told that that amount would only buy a hand pump, he pressed on and earned enough from doing chores and other major contributors to purchase an entire well for the village of Agweo in Uganda. Shoveller chronicles Ryan's dream from conception to birth and his visit to the people who benefited from hard work and generosity. The project draws Ryan and his family close to a young boy in the village named Jimmy. Caring for the community does not stop with the well, and the Hreljac family manages to save Jimmy from becoming one of the child soldiers for the Lord's Resistance Army. The "pay it forward" potential of the boys' story is unfathomable. Factual, but captivating, this will challenge readers of all ages.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-When Ryan Hreljac's first-grade teacher told his class about countries where people did not have access to clean drinking water, the boy became determined to change things. This account follows his efforts from what began as one child committed to building one well, and grew over several years into an international network of fundraising, educating, and well-drilling that extended far beyond anyone's expectations. Ryan's endeavors also brought him into contact with Akana Jimmy, a youngster from Agweo Village, Uganda, the location of the first well. In 2000, Ryan went to Uganda, and the two boys met for the first time. Through their friendship and correspondence, readers will gain insight into a world in which children face unimaginable hardships. In the fall of 2002, rebel forces abducted Jimmy, and though he escaped, his life was placed in great danger. The narrative then details the Hreljacs' laborious but successful efforts to bring him to Canada. Clearly written and illustrated with full-color family photographs set against colorful backgrounds, this story is both personal and representative of the many people living in developing countries, the individuals working against all odds to help them, and the power of young people to make a difference. A great choice for booktalking or small-group sharing and discussion, with many possible connections, from social and economic to geographic and political.-Genevieve Gallagher, Murray Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
When Ryan Hreljac's first-grade teacher explained that it would cost only $70 to build a well to supply clean water for an entire village in Africa, Ryan, with his parents' encouragement, decided to raise the money himself by doing household chores. Undeterred by setbacks, he gradually gained media attention, received donations from individuals and organizations throughout Canada and eventually traveled to Uganda for the unveiling of the well. There Ryan met Akana Jimmy, a young Ugandan orphan who had been his pen pal. The two were instantly close friends, and their lives became forever intertwined. As military tension increased in Uganda, Jimmy was kidnapped by rebels, and though he managed to escape, his life was still at risk. The Hreljacs helped bring him to Canada, where he was granted asylum, became a member of their family and successfully adjusted to an entirely new way of life. This inspiring true story of survival, friendship and activism is never preachy, and the text, dotted with color photographs, carefully preserves a child's eye view throughout. (Nonfiction. 7-12)
From the Publisher
A truly inspirational story, this book can effectively teach about problems and solutions.

A truly inspirational story, this book can effectively teach about problems and solutions.

Ryan and Jimmy is a true story of friendship and compassion in which a simple wish to help others brings focus to the necessities that unite us all.

Ryan and Jimmy is a true story of friendship and compassion in which a simple wish to help others brings focus to the necessities that unite us all.

A great choice for book talking or small-group sharing and discussion, with many possible connections, from social and economic to geographic and political.

A great choice for book talking or small-group sharing and discussion, with many possible connections, from social and economic to geographic and political.

This inspiring true story of survival, friendship and activism is never preachy, and the text, dotted with color photographs, carefully preserves a child’s eye view throughout.

This inspiring true story of survival, friendship and activism is never preachy, and the text, dotted with color photographs, carefully preserves a child’s eye view throughout.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781553379676
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Series: CitizenKid Series
  • Pages: 56
  • Sales rank: 714,790
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 810L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Herb Shoveller is a former journalist and the great-uncle of Ryan Hreljac.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 14, 2014

    i did not love this book its very poor and its boring to reed do

    i did not love this book its very poor and its boring to reed do never read ths book

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  • Posted March 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review on Cesar

    Written by Cramen T. Bernier-Grand and illustarted by David Diaz, this children's chapter book reveals Cesario Chavez's life struggles and triumphs. Each chapter shares with readers important events in his life. He was born on March 31, 1927 to father, Librado Chavez and mother, Juana Estrada. His father was a migrant farm worker, so Cesar moved from city to city, attending over thirty schools by the time he reached eighth grade, where he had to drop out to support his family. He In 1952 Cesar met Fred Ross and worked with him for the Community Service Organization (CSO). In 1956 he became the general director of the CSO, where they helped Lations become citizens. He soon moved to Delano where he started the National Farm Workers Association, which later became known as the United farm Workers (UFW). The UFW was not just a union but later became known as "The Cause", a civil-rights movement that empowered workers to change their own working conditions and improve the quality of the workers' lives. While leading the UFW, Cesar led non-violent strikes, fasts, marches, and boycotts to force growers (their employers) to negotiate with the workers for better wages, improved working conditions and reduced the use of pesticides.
    Cesar is still remembered by several states, by creating March 31 a holiday. Many schools and centers are named after him and students continue to learn about "The Cause" he led and fought for. While this may seems like a complicated life story, Bernier-Grand wrote the book in short, easy to read chapters for students in grades fourth through sixth. However, I am an adult and I enjoyed reading it and learned a little too. I believe that children will enjoy the colorful illustrations by David Diaz. There are several words throughout the book that were written in Spanish and that students could look in the glossary at the end of the book for a translation into English. I beleive that students, especially English leaners, would enjoy and benefit from reading this book. I recommend reading this book to your children (or have them read it themselves) because it provides examples of core values, such as: helping the needy, self-sacrifice, determination, non-violence, respect, community, and innovation.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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