Title: One Hen
Author: Katie Smith Milway
Illustrator: Eugenie Fernandes
Publisher: Kids Can Press: February 1, 2008
Suitable for: 8 and up
Themes/Topics: africa, microfinancing, community building,
Kojo tugs the knot tight and hoists a bundle of firewood onto his head. Since his father died, he has had to quit school and help his mother collect wood to sell at the market.
Inspired by true events, One Hen tells the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many. After his father died, Kojo had to quit school to help his mother collect firewood to sell at the market. When his mother receives a loan from some village families, she gives a little money to her son. With this tiny loan, Kojo buys a hen. A year later, Kojo has built up a flock of 25 hens. With his earnings Kojo is able to return to school. Soon Kojo's farm grows to become the largest in the region.
Links to resources:
EconEdlink is an excellent site with lots of activities.
Visit One Hen Microfinance for Kids for more information about the organization, the book and lots of activities and lesson plans (click on the Teachers and Librarians tab).
Why I like this book:
Books based on true stories, lives and events always touch my heart. This one is no different. There is so much we can learn from the lives of others. From the beginning I just fell in love with the character Kojo. One Hen shows what happens when a little help makes a big difference. Children are introduced to the concept of microloans and finances, a lending system for people in developing countries who have no collateral and no access to conventional banking. Microloans have begun to receive more media attention in recent years. In 2006 Muhammad Yunus, a Bangledeshi economist who pioneered microloan banking, won the Nobel Peace Prize.The final pages of One Hen explain the microloan system and include a list of relevant organizations for children to explore.
We really enjoyed this book and now it's more real when we "buy chickens" for international "friends".
This sounds great, I wonder if all kids would be so entrepreneurial in the same circumstances. Well done Kojo!
This sounds like a great book!I love how all they had was one hen and they worked hard to make enough money to live and for Kojo go to school. I would love to read it! It reminds me of "Beatrice's Goat"
Wow! This book sounds wonderful and reminds me of Heiffer. I think kids would find it very interesting and inspiring, and also learn a lot from it on many levels. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!
Saba, I saw this book last week at the library and read it, and almost checked it out! It grabbed my attention because I am such an advocate for microfinancing and have done so through anoher organization, Kiva, for over four years. I love that someone has written a book about it. With our older grandchildren we have given them birthday gifts to Kiva, so that they can learn about how important lending is to families in need. They can choose who the want to lend to. Once the loan is repaid, then they reloan the money again to someone else. So cool to read a book for kids.
This does sound like one that will touch hearts. Thanks for the review.
Wow, so many great themes and topics in this book. My daughter is learning about economics and finance in 3rd grade right now, so this would be a good one to check into. Thanks for sharing!
What a wonderful way to about the world around us. This looks like a perfect excuse to learn about African geography and culture.
I was surprised to see the publication date of this one, since microloans have become so popular lately, I was sure it was more recent! This was a book before it's time, and a great way to show kids in a tangible way what a small contribution can do. Thanks!
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