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Hope for Haiti Hardcover – October 12, 2010
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-The young boy who narrates this story lives in a neighborhood that was destroyed by the 2010 earthquake. His family joins several others to set up makeshift housing in a soccer stadium. Before long, the children start playing soccer with a ball made of rags. Their high spirits in the face of disaster are rewarded when a man offers them a real soccer ball signed by Manno Sanon, a beloved Haitian player. Using concise but rhythmic language, this inspiring tale is told in a simple and straightforward manner. The pictures, acrylic paintings with bold colors and strong lines, are attractive and accessible but not especially distinctive. Edwidge Danticat's Eight Days: A Story of Haiti (Scholastic, 2010) is also about the earthquake, and it is more artistic but darker in tone. Some proceeds from both books are donated to relief efforts. Overall, this is a didactic but worthwhile book.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Set in the aftermath of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake, this realistic picture book tells an elemental survival story through the experience of one boy who loses everything and then finds hope to carry on. Simple poetic words and generously sized acrylic paintings portray the sense of loss and desolation the boy feels as he helps his mother build a new home in the soccer stadium (One piece of tin. / Six posts. / Three sheets). He is too small to compete with other refugees when relief workers pass out limited supplies of food, and he witnesses devestating scenes of suffering. He has fun with other kids, though, kicking a soccer ball made of rags. Although a woman scolds them for their laughter, an aid worker gives them a new ball signed by a professional soccer player, and the final pictures show the boy imagining himself as a star on the field, scoring a goal in the future. Watson transcends the story’s heavy messages with individual portraits that never deny the boy’s anguish, as well as his hope. Grades K-3. --Hazel Rochman
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I bought this book for my adopted son, who is Haitian born. I have been buying books about Haiti & Haitian Culture in order to preserve his Haitian Culture and to preserve his memories of Haiti. He was 10 when he came to us. We have used this book and others to open up discussions about what his life was like in Haiti. Our entire family has enjoyed this book