Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Hope Springs

Walters, Eric (Author)
Fernandes, Eugenie (Illustrator)
Tundra Books 2014. 32 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781770495302 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, setting

Award

USBBY Outstanding International Books List – 2015

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

In the village, the orphans—like everyone else—must spend much time queuing for water from the trickling spring. The language in this fairly dense and lengthy story takes young readers to drought lands in Kenya, where Boniface and his fellow orphans consider themselves lucky to have food, beds, “and houseparents to watch over them.”

When villagers forbid the orphans to access the water, young readers may be encouraged to consider their own experiences of scarcity: times when there seemed to be not enough for everyone.

Strong, simplified forms depict the people, the land and the orphanage setting. In one illustration, parched earth surrounds a deep hole. Boniface holds rich, brown soil brought up from the bottom: “They had water!” The next image is lush and green. Clean, brightly-patterned laundry flaps on a line, as Boniface gazes down to where villagers queue up for water.

Children may be impressed with Boniface’s desire to help those who had previously denied him and his fellows. The final image shows the meagre spring transformed into a productive well. “And there was enough water—and kindness—for all.”

A lengthy author’s note, with lots of photos, shares the inspiration for this story.

  •  

    Locate Kenya on a map. Browse a few pages to understand the setting. How is it different from where you live?

  •  Why do the children and people from the valley line up to fill their water containers at the spring? What is the impact of having restricted access to water? How would your life be different if you didn’t have clean, easily accessible water?
  •  

    Write a letter to one of the characters, commenting on their actions and asking any questions that arise from the story.

  •  Research organizations that are dedicated to achieving universal access to clean water. As a class, organize a project to contribute to these efforts by fundraising, bringing attention to the cause or supporting them in another way.
  •  

    Locate Kenya on a map. Browse a few pages to understand the setting. How is it different from where you live?

  •  

    Listen to the story read aloud in episodes. Predict what will happen next.

  •  

    Brainstorm what you do with water. How is it important in your life? Compare this with how the people in the story use water.

  •  

    Boniface learned how to make a well by watching others. Using teacher-selected resources, research how to dig a well and get water.

  •  

    Discuss Boniface’s kindness. What would you have done in his place? Write a thank you card to someone you know who has shown kindness.

  •  Research organizations that are dedicated to achieving universal access to clean water. As a class, organize a project to contribute to these efforts by fundraising, bringing attention to the cause or supporting them in another way.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To solve problems
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship