Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists

Wilson, Janet (Author/Illustrator)
Orca 2008. 48 pages
First published: 2008
ISBN: 9781551438924 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 327.1
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

character, conflict, figurative language, multimodal, stance, structures and features

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:

The sections of this powerful and sometimes upsetting book begin with profiles of young activists from around the world. In the chapter on child soldiers, readers learn about Kimmie Weeks, who established Liberia’s first child-rights advocacy group when he was 13—and faced assassination attempts as a result of his programs. Having lost her own foot, Song Kosai travels the world to speak about about the need to ban land mines.

The profiles are supported by the voices of other children in poems and quotes, as well as leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Mahatma Gandhi. Further anecdotes and examples of activism are also included in this dense and informative book.

Captioned photos show the children, their artwork and other images of their lives and projects. Glowing illustrations use soft textural strokes to create loving portraits of the featured activists. In one, Sadako Sasaki, who died of radiation poisoning in 1955, holds a paper crane against a backdrop of cherry blossoms. In another, Taliban resister Mehria Azizi turns to the viewer, her face reflecting the light that shines on the blackboard she’s using.

This is an excellent resource for discussions of world politics, social justice and personal empowerment.

  •  In groups, read different chapters and retell the stories to each other. Select and enlarge one of the photos or paintings to emphasize your points.
  •  Create a large poster featuring your favourite poem from the book. Around the edges, add relevant illustrations, designs, photos, quotations and personal commentary.
  •  

    What does the “power of one” mean? Read the story on page 43 and the quote on page 44. How do the young people in the stories exemplify this power?

  •  

    Organize a schoolwide Paper Cranes for Peace campaign. Teach other classes to make cranes like Sadako’s and invite them to write simple messages of peace on each one. Hang them in clusters around the school.

  •  As a group, prepare for your reading by examining an illustration of a young activist and considering ways to read the different visual texts. Use ideas generated in the discussion to make predictions about the content of the profile.
  •  On page 7, Zlata Filipovic says “Politics are conducted by grown-ups, but I think we young people would do it better.” In a small group, discuss whether or not youths would make better politicians and world leaders.
  •  Explore the use of different text types (poetry, diary entries, letters, drawings). Use a response process to respond to one or more of them.
  •  

    Read the covers and the inside front cover of the book. What does the “power of one” mean? Read the story on page 43 and the quote on page 44. Give other examples of the “power of one.”

  •  

    In groups, read one of the stories in the book. Read a quote or poem, or show an illustration, and explain how it affected you.

  •  

    Find the words and expressions that describe war and peace. Use these words to write a poem, draw a picture or make a poster about peace. Display it in your classroom or school.

  •  What can you do for peace as an individual, a class or a school? Find suggestions in the book or create your own project to make a difference at home, at school, in your community or in the world.
  •  As a class, create two online word clouds on peace and war.
  •  Notice the quote on the back cover of the book. Write your own inspirational quotes related to each story and display them on a poster.
  •  “Children don’t start wars but can they start peace?” Write an opinion piece answering this question, based on the texts you have read.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • To use information and communications technologies
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Social Sciences