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One Peace

True Stories of Young Activists

illustrated by Janet Wilson

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social activists, military & wars, values & virtues
list price: $19.95
also available: eBook
published: 2008
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
9 to 12
4 to 7
Reading age:
9 to 12
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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review

One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists

Canadian Craig Kielbuger is one of many young people profiled in this volume celebrating the peace-seeking accomplishments of children around the world. From Farlis Calle, a survivor of Colombia’s civil war, to Sadako Sasaki, who succumbed to leukemia after surviving the blast of an atomic bomb, many young people have had a desire to create peace, both for themselves and others. As Farlis says, “We can’t change the whole world alone, but if I can teach people that if you put your hand in mine and little by little we join hands, maybe we can construct a new world”. Their work has resulted in organizations such as Free the Children and Colombia’s Children’s Movement for Peace, both of which have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Wilson has won awards for Jasper’s Day and In Flanders Fields.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2009-2010.

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  • Short-listed, Red Cedar Award nominee
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books
  • Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award nominee
  • Winner, Information Book Award
  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award nominee
  • Short-listed, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award finalist
  • Commended, Smithsonian Notable Book for Children
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One Peace celebrates the "Power of One," and specifically the accomplishments of children from around the globe who have worked to promote world peace. Janet Wilson challenges today's children to strive to make a difference in this beautifully illustrated, fact-filled and fascinating volume of portraits of many "heroes for today."

Canadian Craig Kielburger, who started Free the Children to help victims of child labor at the age of twelve, has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Farlis Calle, forced to identify the body of a young friend—a victim of her country's civil war—started the Columbia Children's Movement for Peace. At age ten, Kimmie Weeks, a refugee from the Liberian civil war, came within a whisper of being buried in a mass grave. Almost miraculously he survived and vowed to make a difference in the lives of other children. At thirteen he established Voices of the Future, Liberia's first child rights advocacy group. Other portraits feature the accomplishments of children from Sarajevo, Japan, the United Kingdom, Cambodia, Afghanistan and the United States. These moving testaments to the courage and initiative of youth will inspire readers young and old.

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Editorial Reviews

"An impressive effort to cover a subject that doesn't get much attention, and it makes a good starting point for inspiring students to try projects of their own."

— School Library Journal

"The book's freewheeling nature provides a diverse and telling emotional impact through words and pictures that express the visions of change of children worldwide...Wilson has provided a much-needed call to action for adults and children alike."

— Quill & Quire

"These youngsters have had some remarkable successes...The stories included here may be inspirational to young readers and could be used as a basis for class discussion and class action."

— School Library Journal

"The youngsters introduced here create profiles in courage."

— Smithsonian.com

"The short 'chapters,' beautiful artwork, and multiple genre presentation help to make One Peace appeal to a wider audience. Adults will enjoy reading about young people who have strived to change the world and children will enjoy the artwork and short vignettes."

— Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group

"The stories of these remarkable young people are interspersed with international stories and folklore concerning peace, as well as anti-war poetry."

— Resource Links

"The anecdotes about real children who made a difference, in addition to some of their writing and quotations, are compelling, as are the photographs."

— The Horn Book Guide

"A powerful springboard to classroom discussions…An excellent choice to put into the hands of a child who is showing interest in peacemaking at any level, and a valuable resource for a unit on peace."

— Canadian Teacher Magazine

"Without being condescending, Wilson has managed to convey to her readers the importance of peace, compassion and determination... One Peace is an outstanding addition to any teacher's or librarian's bookshelf and will no doubt be popular for its beautiful design and inspirational message. Highly Recommended."

— CM Magazine

"The illustrations that Janet has created are stunning - stirring accompaniments to her text...With everything going on in the world, this book is a must have for educators, parents, and of course, children."

— Kathy Kacer, author of Hiding Edith

"The overall message is one of resilience, strength and optimism and concrete examples of what students can do to make a difference may spark and encourage student action and empowerment. This is a powerful book and one that can provide a counterbalance to some of the military books so sought after by elementary school patrons."

— Puget Sound Council

"This book appeals to the sense. Text is balanced with colour, visual texture, inspiring words, artwork, and photos on every page...It is written for children to be the change the world needs, but adults will appreciate the quality of this work."

— The Bookmark (BCTLA)

"Each [activist] profile provides an ideal introduction to both world issues and serves as an excellent resource to help readers connect these issues with their own lives."

— Canadian Bookseller

"Colourful pages are packed with photos, children's drawings and Wilson's own paintings. Her moving portraits evoke the youth and innocence of the young activists, depicting them with symbols of peace: candles, flowers, animals, even soccer balls…The time is always right for a book that engages children, especially one that inspires and empowers them to take action for peace."

— United Church Observer

"Each double-page spread in this picture book for older readers is a passionate call for peace, the end of suffering, and the need for change."

— Booklist

"A wonderful blend of art, poetry, factual information and engaging profiles of kids who made a difference; this book is an excellent resource for teachers who wish to inspire students to make a social contribution."

— TeachingBytheBook.com

"Filled with emotion and commitment from young voices dedicated to making the world a better place to live. The message here is clear: Youths and adults can work together toward worldwide peace."

— Children's Literature
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About the Author

Janet Wilson

Janet Wilson is an author and fine artist. Her book Shannen and the Dream for a School won the First Nation Communities Read award, was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, and is soon to be a TV movie. Her picture book, Our Earth: How kids are saving the planet, was the winner of the Science in Society Book Award. Janet lives in Eden Mills, Ontario, a community with a strong environmental focus.
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