Book Reviews


The devastating tsunami that hit Southeast
Asia in 2004 was the source of many sad events. However, it also brought
forth a heartwarming story. A baby hippo was separated from its mother by
the tidal wave. The baby hippo found an unlikely but faithful companion. An
130 year old tortoise adopted the baby hippo as its own. Mzee, the tortoise
was not terribly friendly but became protective of the hippo, who was named
Owen, who relaxed and started to eat again. The story of these two unusual
friends, Owen and Mzee, was written down and photographed by Craig
Hatkoff and his 6 year old daughter Isabella. The large picture book is now
accompanied by a website with more details and activities for students:
Owen and Mzee, The Language of Friendship, by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff,
ISBN 0439899591

The same tsunami lead Canadian author Eric Walters to write his novel Wave, a juvenile fiction novel. Sam and his parents leave his sister behind in snowy New York to spend Christmas on the beach in Thailand.
Little did they know that their lives were about to change forever. The first
part of the story is written in the voice of 12 year old Sam, the latter part
in Beth’s voice – making this a book that will appeal to both boys and girls.
Once the tsunami hits, the book becomes a page turner.
Waves, by Eric Walters. Doubleday Canada, ISBN 978-0-385-66443-1
Also available as e-book.

Making Change, Tips from an Underage Overachiever, is the remarkable nonfiction book written by sixth grade student Bilaal Rajan. Bilaal, a Canadian, became interested in the plight of children around the world at age four. His book can serve as a how-to guide for children who want to help make the world a better place. Through examples of fund- and awareness raising and real life activities undertaken by children, they will see first hand how they can make a difference. With a foreword by the CEO of Unicef Canada and practical activities to visualize success, this book is a perfect guide to global awareness for children.
Making Change, Tips from an Underage Overachiever, by Bilaal Rajan. Orca
Books, ISBN 1554690013

Check out Bilaal’s website here: