24 September 2010

"The Boy Who Changed The World" by Andy Andrews

The Boy Who Changed the World is a delightful children’s book, telling the stories of four boys who grew up to change the world. The key message of the story is that all children can make a difference, and that “every little thing we do matters”. The Curriculum Guide (available on line) is for Pre-K through 2nd Grade children, but this story could definitely be read and enjoyed by any elementary aged child, and even with middle and high schoolers.

The beautiful illustrations impressed me, as did the way the author connected each boy’s story to the next. The font is clear and easy to read, and I liked how some key points are emphasised in different fonts. The message comes through very clearly, and the story itself is easy to read. While the message is clearly a Christian one, and God’s plan for us to make a difference is clear, it was also presented in such a way that I felt comfortable reading the story in my secular classroom.

To see how children would respond to the story, I read this book to my 3rd grade class the day after I received it, and they enjoyed it. Many of the children recognised and appreciated the fact that they can change the world. Considering that English is the second or third language for almost all of my students, I was thrilled at how much they connected with the story. The repetition of key phrases was very helpful for children who are still learning English. In each of the four stories within the stories, there were aspects that the children were able to connect with, such as Norman playing a game with his sisters, and Moses giving up something precious (his horse) for something even more precious (George).

Here’s what some of my students said about the story:
  • I like the story because Moses traded his favourite horse for George.
  • I like this story because it is very good and it tells everybody about how to change the world.
  • I like the story because the boy saved one billion people.
  • I like the story because the four boys grew super plants for people that are hungry.
  • I like the story because it tells us how to change the world.
  • I liked the story because I love the two girls. I like their hair colour.
  • I like the story because the story tells us how to learn to change the world, and I liked it because the story tells us how to learn to do something right.
As a teacher, I also appreciated the Curriculum Guide on Andy’s website, and I’d really encourage other teachers to take time to share this beautiful story with their students, and to use the Curriculum Guide to make the most of the story.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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