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One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid) Hardcover – February 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Series: CitizenKid
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Ltd. (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554530288
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554530281
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 9 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Grade 2–5—After his father dies, Kojo quits school to help his mother collect firewood to sell, but there is little money or food. However, his small Ashanti village has elected to try microlending, a system where the village loans money to one family to buy something that will hopefully improve their lives; once it is paid back, another family borrows it, etc. When it is the boy's mother's turn, Kojo uses a few of the coins to buy a hen. The story then follows him as he grows and slowly but steadily builds the proceeds from that one hen into the largest poultry farm in West Africa. Throughout, the author shows how his success impacts the lives of everyone it touches, from the people whom Kojo is able to employ to the taxes he pays that will build roads and medical facilities. The story is based on the experiences of an actual Ashanti poultry farmer and could open diverse avenues of discussion, including how a community's mutual support and teamwork operate for the good of all. Fernandes's large acrylic paintings capture the warmth of the climate and include numerous details, such as splashes of kente cloth, that authenticate the setting. There are also many illustrations that spark the imagination, such as the one of a tree with Kojo's first hen at its roots, growing more hens as the tree grows, with eggs blossoming from the branches. This distinguished book will enhance many curriculum areas. Tololwa M. Mollel's My Rows and Piles of Coins (Clarion, 1999) is a good companion piece.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Families in a Ghanan village pool their small savings into a community bank that makes loans available to members. When Kojo’s mother borrows money, he asks her for a few coins to buy a hen. The hen produces eggs for the family as well as a few for him to sell at the market, and Kojo uses that money to grow his business into a thriving enterprise. As a successful adult entrepreneur, Kojo now loans money to other aspiring businesspeople. Kojo’s inspiring, upbeat microfinance story makes the economic concept easy to grasp and admire. Sunny acrylic illustrations incorporate African animals and scenery into impressionistic full-page art that reflects the optimistic tone of the story. Back matter includes a photograph and short biography of a “real Kojo,” information on microcredit organizations, and a glossary. Grades 2-5. --Linda Perkins

Customer Reviews

We stumbled upon this wonderful book.
Interested Reader
This book is a great way for families to teach their children about the value of giving and the effect a small kindness or gift may have on many lives.
Mary J. Devore
This is a great book for both children and adults!
Joanne Peh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Book on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This little children's book shows how big the world is. One Hen simplistically shares a personal story of a little boy who buys a hen and how it impacted his life, family, entire village, and country. Beyond just micro-finance, One Hen communicates global poverty, community development, family values, charity and justice issues. helpful to begin educating American children in a "me, me" culture about not just giving to those who are poor and disenfranchised but how to give in such a way that has sustainable, holistic effects on an individual and community.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Devore on April 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a great way for families to teach their children about the value of giving and the effect a small kindness or gift may have on many lives. The illustrations are an added plus. It is a good and easy introduction into microfinance and how one person can help make the world a better place
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wan on April 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is terrific. We can so easily fall into thinking that our world is limited to the things we see everyday, and the book is a great journey through what life is like in so many parts of the world today.

I recommend reading this with your kids, your students (if you have any), and even just for your own personal enjoyment.

Also, the book has sparked a great website as well, which helps to educate young and old on the merits of microloans -- [...]
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Smith on December 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
One Hen is not only a picture book to be read to non readers in one sentence per page, but a beginning reader's book. It is also written on the right hand side at a grade six and up level. The challenge to become involved actively in microfinancing on the final pages, has adults setting up the website in schools, libraries and book stores, enabling all to become involved in the win-win world of microfinancing. No wonder it has won business awards as well as literature kudos.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. Young on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gosh, after the rave reviews here, I was so disappointed in this book. For 4 to 8 year olds? You've got to be kidding. This book was based on what should have been a delightful and inspiring story, but the author went on and on and on and on in the style of somebody writing a report for the IMF instead of a children's story. This author does not know how to tell a story, how to create images, how to carry on a plot. It became more boring with each page. And it is a real pity because what a beautiful idea. I wish the publisher had given this writer more help so that his story could have been told properly. The stars I gave are all for the artist, who did such a wonderful job with the paintings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bubbles on December 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is terrific. It has an inspiring message that can be used to talk with kids, even young ones. The book is well-written and done with careful thought--pages can be skimmed with really young kids, while older kids can read the full text. The art is magical. I recommend this book highly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Katie Smith Milway, One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (Kids Can Press, 2008)

Cute book about microlending, one of today's most exciting trends, geared toward the preschool set. Milway gets extra credit, though, for including a section geared towards slightly older readers (and adults) with a capsule biography of the chap upon whom she based the main character in One Hen that's just as interesting as the book itself. She also includes a quick nonfiction overview of microlending and a quick guide for further investigation, which is fantastic (and points out that this process also exists in America, which may surprise some readers, both children and adults). A must for conservative parents, but I do think it's got a universal appeal. ****
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Hagler on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Two of my grandchildren read this inspiring story to the third grandchild and me as we made dinner. After the meal, we decided to send money to one of the opportunity companies. Each grandchild contributed $2.50 of their chore money they had earned by raking leaves, moving gravel, cooking, and picking up sticks. Thanks to all those responsible for this book.
Ann Rauscher Hagler
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Katie Smith Milway, winner of the 2009 Massachusetts Best Book for Children Award and 2009 Children's Africana Book Award, for One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, is on a quest to bring world issues to elementary and middle school children. One Hen, set in Ghana introduces kids to microfinance and the power of social entrepreneurship and gave rise to nonprofit One Hen, Inc. (www.oneheninc.org), which offers downloadable resources for educators to teach financial literacy and giving back.

Her 2010 book, The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough, is set in the Honduran hillsides and introduces kids to the concept of food security and how each of us, at any age, can combat global hunger (www.thegoodgarden.org). And her latest book, Mimi's Village and How Basic Health Care Transformed It, set in Kenya, connects kids' actions for global health to results in Africa.

Katie is also a partner in Boston with nonprofit and philanthropy advisor The Bridgespan Group. She serves on the board of World Vision US, has coordinated community development programs in Latin America and Africa for Food for the Hungry International and was a delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit. She has written several adult books on sustainable development, including The Human Farm: A Tale of Changing Lives and Changing Lands (Kumarian Press, 1994), which documented the work of sustainable agriculture pioneer Don Elias Sanchez (role model for The Good Garden's teacher).

Prior to Bridgespan, Katie served as editorial director and founding publisher at Bain & Co. A graduate of Stanford University, The Free University of Brussels and INSEAD, Katie spent a decade working in and around more than a dozen countries in Africa and Latin America on sustainable development projects, including village banking, food security, primary health care, water resourcing and education.

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One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid)
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