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One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid) Hardcover – February 1, 2008
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
The images were beautiful too!
The only downside was that it was a little complicated reading-level-wise for my kids. I had to simplify some of the worlds and work a bit harder at making it exciting
This is an inspiring story based on a true character that if you start small and dream big, you never know where it can take it.
What I really liked about this story is how it teaches you to give back to the community and the principle of micro finance. The central character uses uses his wealth and knowledge to help other people in his community improve their lives and acquire their own wealth. It also teaches the value of paying it forward. Those who received help from him are made to promise that they will extend help to someone else. People are not greedy and selfish nor are they fearful that by sharing, they will have less for themselves.
I think it's a good reminder that we should not be afraid to share because instead of being shortchanged, we actually gain more in return.
This is a great book for both children and adults!