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50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals: Fun and Easy Ways to Be a Kind Kid Paperback – November 1, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ingrid Newkirk (Norfolk, VA) is the world-famous dog lover and founder/president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organization in the world. A master of publicity, she has appeared on "Today, Oprah, Nightline, Crossfire, 20/20, " on radio, and in print. A deputy sheriff in Maryland for nearly thirty years, she is also the author of several books and articles on the social implications of our treatment of animals. In 2008, HBO released a documentary of her life titled "I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA."

Jane Ratcliffe (Ann Arbor, MI) is a novelist and freelance writer. She has her MFA from Columbia University and currently teaches creative writing.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 15 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 10
  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Revised and Updated ed. edition (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446698288
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446698283
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,719,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As the mother of two young kids, I picked up a copy of 50 Awesome Ways Kids Can Help Animals to help me guide my children into becoming compassionate adults. This book has helped me talk to my kids about what happens to animals without scaring them, because, let's face it, what happens to animals before and during slaughter is frightening to most adults, let alone to children. It's a great book full of fun facts that kids enjoy learning and it teaches kids to view animals not as objects, but as living, feeling beings that deserve our respect.
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Format: Paperback
As an expert in learning--I have a doctorate in Applied Linguistics--I highly recommend a new book for children, 50 AWESOME WAYS KIDS CAN HELP ANIMALS, by Ingrid Newkirk. It is a great way to educate children--and everyone else--about our nonhuman friends.

As a linguist, I especially enjoyed Chapter 36, "Critter Chatter," which begins:

"Words we say, hear, and read have a powerful effect on us and how we see others. Sometimes people develop bad feelings about animals simply from the words they use."

After September 11, I spent entire days writing to politicians I saw on television who said things like: "We're gonna find the animals who did this," as if animals would ever plot and execute something like coordinated attacks using commercial jets. And you know something? After a couple of months, the language our politicians used changed dramatically.

Newkirk raises a rare topic that, for me, is at the heart of our problems with animals: We refer to them as things. "The dog was hungry, so I fed it." When we're comfortable using language that defines animals as objects, it's much easier to accept treating them as objects. Newkirk suggests not only using the language of individuals (him and her), but asking other people to adopt it, too.

I urge every parent and child to read 50 AWESOME WAYS KIDS CAN HELP ANIMALS. It's like one-stop shopping for raising a compassionate child, and being a compassionate adult.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my niece, but I haven't given it to her yet because I wanted to read it first and see if I thought it was something she'd like. After reading most of it, I can say wholeheartedly that it is the perfect book for any child who cares about animals.

The book is very easy to read, broken up with short chapters, lots of bulleted facts, quizzes, and boxes. The best thing about the book is that it takes kids' passion for animals and channels it into constructive ways they can help. For example, volunteering at the animal shelter, which is one of the book's suggestions, is a great way for kids to help animals and also helps educate them about important issues like spaying and neutering and being a responsible animal guardian.

The book covers a lot of ground and will probably inspire some animated dinner table conversations, but I think it's a great way to make kids feel like they are active members of society who can make a difference.
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Format: Paperback
PETA president and cofounder Ingrid Newkirk brings a new version of her book KIDS CAN SAVE THE ANIMALS! to bookshelves in the fall of 2006. This renamed edition has been updated to reflect changes and additional resources since the original publishing date in 1991.

The fifty ways to help animals in this book range from providing clean dishes for furry friends to ways to legally protesting unfair animal practices. Politely refusing gifts made of parts from endangered animals, keeping a journal of interactions with the family dog, vegetarian/vegan recipes (unless you're allergic to soy, as I happen to be), and website links are other useful features in this book.

Other information in this book is debatable, depending on what side of the fence you fall on. Animals that many people consider pests, Newkirk encourages keeping safe. The classic example is the debate over hunting deer and chasing Canada geese from public golf courses. It would have been helpful to see her response to the argument supporting the use of hunting due to a lack of natural predators (also due to human influence).

Overall, for kids and parents who are fans of PETA and choose vegetarian/vegan lifestyles, this is a good book. For animal lovers who happen to eat meat and feel PETA goes too far, this still is not a bad book, although they will find many of the suggestions over the top, even intrusive--such as animal lovers slipping animal rights flyers in restaurant menus and into the pockets of fur coats at retailers.

As with any cause, it is important for parents to have an understanding of what their children's passions may be. It is just as important for parents to help kids keep a fair and healthy perspective regarding their beliefs.

Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer

10/26/2006
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Format: Paperback
I came across this book while browsing at the bookstore and bought a copy for my stepdaughter, who is a big animal lover. What a great resource! It's full of fun facts about animals, easy activities that kids can do on their own (or with a little adult supervision), quotes from kids' favorite celebrities, quizzes, puzzles, and lots more. This might be just the thing to get kids to put down the video games and pick up a book! I'll definitely be buying copies for all of the young people on my Christmas list.
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