When This Is Over, I Will Go To School, And I Will Learn To Readby Pamela Sisman Bitterman
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No one knows the story of Kenya better than the children who live it. I had the opportunity to travel to this country and become immersed with the families there. The result is a1500-word nonfiction picture book titled, "When This Is Over, I Will Go To School, And I Will Learn To Read": A Story of Hope and Friendship for One Young Kenyan Orphan. This true story of one little boy is told in his own words. While there are many books about Africa on the market, none are told from a child's point of view like this one.
The children from the village created the book's illustrations. I asked these students to draw what represented family, love, happiness, sadness, fear and hope for them. I have powerful photographs of the children, the school, the village and the countryside, the hospital, the mobile clinic and orphan program. It is this truth that is certain to nudge the hearts and minds of parents, teachers and children everywhere.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 6 MB
- Age Range:
- 6 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
The author/protagonist is a veteran traveler, lover of adventure, seeker of truth, wife and mother. She is an author who spent her early years sailing an old Tall Ship around the world, only to sink, survive, be proposed to in a hopelessly adrift life raft, and then be miraculously saved - the subject of her first book Sailing To The Far Horizon.
Although it had been a few years since her last great independent wanders, being out in the world again and discovering if she was still able to handle it finally became a craving too palpable to ignore. In her more recent travels, however, the author not only confronts the challenge to do well but also the desire to do good. The Dark Continent does not merely call to her it batter-rams her entire consciousness. Prior to acknowledging her gullibility in jimmying open and jamming her foot through proverbial closed doors so that she is permitted to risk such questionable endeavors, the author lays bare her initial naïve expectations. She then details the curious process by which she is required to prepare for her hazardous journeys. In the end her impressions, rife with their associated political and social revelations and disenchantments, are shamelessly and often humorously exposed. The whole unvarnished truth that is revealed becomes the gritty gist of her tales. The author has spent over half a century questioning authority, countering cultural mores, challenging establishments and having leaps-of-faith adventures. Her writing is the product of this journey. She has embraced her world with arms, eyes, heart and mind wide open, and has been richly rewarded for her risk-taking but often also made to pay a heavy price. Therein lies the guts of her story-telling; shocking, human, hilarious, heartbreaking, always informed, first person true, and brutally honest.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The Power of Reading It's hard to find someone who has visited Africa who hasn't come back changed. Lots of books have been written about such transformational experiences, but it's rare to find one this original in its conception, so well written, and beautifully illustrated by African children themselves. "When This Is Over, I Will Go To School, And I Will Learn To Read" was created by Pamela Bitterman, based on her travels to a Kenyan orphanage. The story, photographs, and illustrations within the book come directly from her personal encounters with two orphan boys--Julius and Hezron. Like most African children, these young boys desperately want to go to school and learn to read, but first they must undergo medical treatment. The boys have a condition called jiggers—parasitic insects which nest under human skin and begin to lay eggs. In terms of the digital book layout, an enhanced fixed layout graphic design might seem a better display choice on first blush, but what makes this book and story so powerful is the simplicity of its beautiful message—knowledge is power. Education doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to be possible. In this context, the raw photographs and other illustrated images are better suited in their original, uncomplicated state. An overproduced glossy design would seem counterintuitive to the story. It's easy to forget how blessed our lives are until you read a story like "When This Is Over, I Will Go To School, And I Will Learn To Read." This book proves you don't have to travel around the world to realize how good you have it, or how we can all help ease the plight of those less fortunate by the minor gesture of buying a book and sharing the story of Julius and Hezron with others. By the way, all sales from the book are donated to the Kenyan orphanage Bitterman references in the story. Ostensibly a children's book, "When This Is Over, I Will Go To School, And I Will Learn To Read" is an important read for everyone of all ages. You'll get a sense of the story's import immediately from the excellent cover design, but you may be surprised how the images will captivate your heart. The title is essentially a mantra for all African children, or really any child who hopes and dreams of a better life. This book was reviewed as part of the Wise Bear Digital Book Awards competition. Entry fees associated with the contest are administrative in nature and do not influence our honest, unbiased book reviews.
Please pick this book up! It's message is too important to pass by. My policy is that I DO NOT review children's books. I did, however, make an exception for WHEN THIS IS OVER, I WILL GO TO SCHOOL, AND I WILL LEARN TO READ by PAMELA SISMAN BITTERMAN. The title hooked me and I just had to find out what this book was all about. This book was born from the travels of Ms. Sisman Bitterman to Kenya and her interactions with the people there. It is a true story with pictures of a Kenyon orphan that broke my heart, from this child's bleak living and health situation to the true spirit of human kindness and selflessness of those there to help. It brings tears to my eyes just writing this review and thinking of those children and the deplorable life situation they find themselves in. "There but by the grace of God, go I." Even after losing parents that are supposed to protect and cherish these children and the horrible illnesses many of them face, this book reflects the child's vision of hope for the future. It takes my breath away. Excerpt taken from the Author's Notes at the end of the book: "I have promised the children of the village the proceeds from the publication of this book. They trust me. And they wait." I encourage all parents to purchase this book for their children or their children's children. Who knows? Maybe one of them will be the next in line to offer their time and skills to help the children of Kenya. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Please take a moment and pick this book up and help spread the word about it. WHEN THIS IS OVER, I WILL GO TO SCHOOL, AND I WILL LEARN TO READ by PAMELA SISMAN BITTERMAN has been awarded the following prestigious first prize children's book awards: The Gold Seal CBC Award and the Smart Writ Book Award.
This story is about a six year-old boy named Julius. He has never been to school. He lives with his grandmother, sister and brother in Kenya. They live in a mud hut in the forest. Professor Nancy sees the children and tells them that they have jiggers, which are bugs that live under the skin and lay eggs. She tells them that they need to come to her mobile clinic and orphan feeding program. When they get there the doctor realizes that their condition is far worse then they first thought, so the family is taken to the hospital where they can be treated properly. After their treatment the family is given many things to help them be healthy, like mats to sleep on, clothes and shoes to wear, as well as mosquito nets to keep the bugs away. But will Julius ever accomplish his dream of going to school and learning how to read? It is a mantra he says when he is afraid. A goal he hopes to someday accomplish. This is a true story of life for children in Kenya. It is a terrifying truth that most people don't know about. What is amazing is the strength and hope in the Kenyan children and their determination to want to become something more. The illustrations are done by the children and there are real pictures of the children in the story as well. This book will hopefully help bring more awareness to the conditions the children in Kenya must endure but it will also show how the kindness of people prevail. This is a 75 page book that children and parents of all ages will enjoy.