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.