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Why Do We Fight?: Conflict, War, and Peace Hardcover – September 10, 2013

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 990L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Owlkids Books (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1926973860
  • ISBN-13: 978-1926973869
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-9–Walker does an excellent job of breaking down the basics of conflict. The book is clearly organized, with easily identifiable sections and chapters defining conflict and explaining it around ethnic, religious, and resource lines. Maps in black and yellow highlight areas under discussion. Graphic organizers fit nicely with Common Core State Standards organizational structures. While using age-appropriate vocabulary and concrete examples, Walker never talks down to her audience. Instead, she simplifies conflict so that students can understand the basics, like the time line of events in Afghanistan and the concept of genocide, and leaves room for a development of knowledge as students mature. The examples of conflicts in the Middle East are timely. Why Do We Fight? has a longer shelf life than other informational texts as it won't go out of date quickly. Teachers could build seminars and lessons around each chapter, and interested students will find much to think about.–Sarah Knutson, American Canyon Middle School, CAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Aside from a quick recap of historical conflicts in Afghanistan, Walker steers clear of specifics and presents general overviews of world problems and the methods for resolving global and civil strife. Neither picture is a neat one—innumerable combinations of social, economic, and political factors spark and fuel wars, and (particularly in the modern era) peace is less a quantifiable state than a fragile, incremental process. Yet even unreflective readers will come away understanding, as one of the sidebar quotes (attributed here to Spinoza) puts it, that “no matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.” Aside from occasional maps or charts there are no illustrations, but frequent sidebars and insertions in different sizes or weights of type enhance readability. Walker only occasionally links her analysis to readers’ conflicts and lays out no itemized blueprints or activities for waging peace. Still, she does make a strong case for the importance of open communication, and that’s a good start. Grades 5-8. --John Peters

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debbie S. Glade on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
War is a subject most of us don't really want to talk about, especially with our children. But unfortunately, it seems to be an inevitable and regrettable occurrence that just cannot be ignored. In Why Do We Fight?, author Nikki Walker brilliantly takes the complicated subject of war and breaks it down in an unbiased, sensible, easy to understand manner for children to read. I have yet to see any other book like this.

In the seven chapters of the book, the author speaks to the reader objectively about understanding global conflicts, how they start, what they are about, how they get violent at times and how opposing sides decide to work it out or fight it out. There is discussion about how groups form and discriminate against other groups, simply because they have different beliefs. And the author delves into the source of most conflicts that cause political unrest - land, power, resources, equality and security, getting one's fair share. There are several graphics in the book that really simplify the subject of conflict, and many key vocabulary words used that students need to know; words like: allies, disputes, alliances, Cold War, diplomacy, genocide, propaganda and much more.

Why This Book is an Important Teaching Tool: By using examples from the real world, such as the conflicts between Israel and Egypt over many decades, readers learn how to uncover both the small and larger-than-life factors that go into creating conflicts on global levels. They will develop skills to sort through information to seek out the truth and form their own opinions of the subject at hand. Also, they will be inspired to learn to respect or tolerate ways of life other than their own.
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