“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids • Nonfiction

Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids
Foreword by Mary Robinson, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Fall 2008 • National Geographic Children’s Books • Ages 10 and up • Nonfiction
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights isn't a law and it isn't a treaty and not everyone agrees with it or follows its rules. It's a document translated into over 330 languages that calls on all of us to work as hard as we can to guarantee a world of freedom and peace.
Story: Compiled after the horrors of World War II, the declaration’s purpose was to state and protect the rights of all people. The 30 rights set down in 1948 are incredibly powerful. According to the U.N., every human – just by virtue of being human – is entitled to freedom, a fair government, a decent standard of living, work, play, and education, freedom to come and go as we please and to associate with anyone we please, and the right to express ourselves freely. Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids offers kids an accessibly written list of these rights, commentary–much of it deeply emotional–by other kids, and richly evocative photography illustrating each right.

The foreword by Mary Robinson, Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, gives perspective on one of the most important documents of human history. At the end of this deceptively simple book, kids will know – and feel – that regardless of individual differences and circumstances, each person is valuable and worthy of respect.

Story behind the story: Nancy Laties Feresten, VP and Editor in Chief at National Geographic Children’s Books, shares the fascinating story behind this book's publication:

Dear Picnic Basket Readers,

Deborah asked me to write to you about the making of Every Human Has Rights. Where should I start? This book has so many facets and is so different from any other book I’ve worked on. I guess the beginning is always a safe place.

For the past couple of years, National Geographic has been working with the Elders, an incredibly inspirational group of elder statesmen (and women) that advocate global respect for human rights. This group, including Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Kofi Annan, decided to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights with an on-line drive to get people around the world to sign the declaration, vowing to uphold human rights. They called this effort Every Human Has Rights.

When I learned about the Elders, I was eager to do something to support their work -- but then I read the Declaration! It was so dense, so legalistic, so difficult even for an educated adult. My goal was to take these very abstract ideas and make them concrete so that kids could incorporate them not only intellectually but emotionally.

The key – as it turned out – was ePals. I don’t know how many of you are familiar with ePals, but if you’re not, you should check them out. ePals is a safe social networking site that kids in classrooms around the world use to connect to one another, often doing joint projects. But what intrigued me most as a publisher was the possibility of harnessing those kids to demonstrate the emotional side of human rights.

National Geographic ran a contest in conjunction with ePals. Teachers who wanted to participate taught a lesson on human rights to their classes, using a children’s version of the declaration that I wrote to make the rights as clear as possible. Then each kid in the class wrote a short piece responding to one of the rights. The kids got the entry signed by a parent, and the teacher sent them to us. The entries were great, and we were able to include 16 of the entries in the book.

In addition to the list of rights and the kids poems, we wanted evocative photos that pulled no punches but didn’t leave the reader depressed either, captions that added additional information, and an edgy design that would convey the layered nature of the book. It was our mission that kids from late elementary school right through high school could connect with this book — information and emotion woven seamlessly together.

We showed the layout to Mary Robinson, former UN Commissioner for Human Rights, former President of Ireland, and one of the Elders, and we were honored when she agreed to write our foreword.

School Library Journal’s recent starred review sums it up best: “Speaking to children with the notion that learning means understanding rather than memorizing, this book impresses on students that they should always be searching for the definition of freedom, and what human rights really mean to everyone.”

So that’s it. The next step is yours. I know Deborah is offering some copies for you to read and blog about. I can’t wait to see what you think. If you like it, tell a lot of people. Wouldn’t it be something if we could raise a generation of kids who worked to make sure that everyone everywhere had their human rights recognized? If you have questions for me, I’d be delighted to answer them. Just let Deborah know, and she’ll get them to me.



Nancy Laties Feresten
VP, Editor in Chief
National Geographic Children’s Books

Curriculum Standards: Social Studies: People, Places, & Environments, Individuals, Groups, & Institutions, Power, Authority, & Governance, Culture FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.


ahslibrarian said...

“Every Human Has Rights: A photographic declaration for kids” belongs on the table of every waiting room in every school, public agency, and health care provider. It is a book that can be browsed, read page-by page, or meditated upon by young and old.

The United Nations’ “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” has been simplified and amplified by the team of National Geographic and the ePals Global Learning Community. The full and rather sophisticated text of the “Declaration” is included in the appendix, but it is the enumerated and simplified captions that make this particular edition valuable. The pictures and the writing of kids from around the world only enhance the value of expressions such as, “You have the right to a free and safe LIFE.”

Also included is valuable information that can help everyone take the ideas beyond the page and into the world. Former President of Ireland and member of The Elders, Mary Robinson, contributes a foreword that is truly inspirational.

Order this book for your children and pass it along to the neighbors, or make it a gift to your school and take an active part in changing the world one reader at a time.

5 out of 5

John Parker
Media Coordinator
Andrews High School
50 HS Drive
Andrews, NC 28901


K.Deeb, Sarasota FL said...

This book "Every Human Has Rights" is fantastic..... The wording is direct and to the point. Pictures and comments by school age children are tremendous....
Every TEACHER should buy this book.....
Submitted by K.Deeb, Sarasota FL.

Lindsay said...

When I received "Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids," I browsed through and wasn't immediately impressed. However, once I went a little deeper and actually studied the pictures and read the text and poems, I saw the book through new eyes.

Too often today our students are not taught to appreciate differences and be tolerant of other opinions. This book teaches that perfectly. I loved the easy to read text, the accompanying pictures definitely supported the themes of the book and this is something that a student could browse through easily.

The message is the most striking of all and something that should be shown to every student.

Picnic Basket Rating: 5 out of 5

Lindsay Horne
New Kent Middle School
6th Grade Teacher

Sara Lestage - Ichabod Crane Middle School - Library Media Specialist said...

“Every Human Has Rights: A photographic declaration for kids” looks a little bit dull at first glance, but after really reading the book it is clear that this book holds a true value in every school cirriculum.
I love the fact that it focuses on human rights through pictures and poetry, which holds a greater impact with readers than simply providing a list. As someone who works with young adults, I would have loved this book to have a little bit more shocking pictures. I think some students would appreciate the idea of basic human rights if the pictures really conveyed that not everyone in this world is treated equal.
This book would be good for grade levels 4 through 12, and fit seemlessly into most Social Studies lessons.
4 out of 5.

JLivengood, librarian said...

Hearing about “Rights” is so commonplace today that it’s often easy to ignore this topic. National Geographic, however, opens readers’ eyes to this subject – literally and figuratively - in this new publication.

Each of the 30 tenets of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights is given a 2-page spread with photos illustrating either an example or abuse of the right and is accompanied by incredibly insightful and profound poetry by children from around the world. The simplicity of the text & photos does more to point out the necessity of these rights more than any academic or professional article ever could.

This book would be very beneficial as part of any character education program or at the beginning of the year when teachers want to establish an atmosphere of respect within the class room. The various photos and poetry would provide wonderful springboards for discussion and a different “right” could be highlighted each day for the first month of school. A beautiful book with a beautiful message that should never be forgotten.

Julie Livengood, SLMS
Jefferson Middle School
Jamestown, NY

Stacy B said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographi Declaration for Kids" immediately grabbed my attention with its bold, colorful pictures. I like how each right is given a page of its own and has a poem and picture to accompany it. As a teacher, you could spend a class period/day on each specific right indepth. I highly reccommend this book for your classroom and/or school library.

Tina's Blog said...

Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids is a great book. The photographs will catch everyone's attention and the topic- of the rights of each human being- are worth reviewing and discussing with students. This would be a great coffee table book, great for libraries, great for sharing with kids and adults.
5 out of 5

Lisa Kennedy said...

I've noticed that almost all of the comments have been from middle school teachers or media specialists. While I agree whole heartedly that this is a magnificently produced book with wonderful photography, information, and student poetry I would definitely recommend it for middle school students and older. Unfortunately, without teacher or parent direction, I'm afraid the importance of the words and photos would be lost on elementary school children. I would give this book a 4 for it's overall importance and presentation.

Sandra Stiles said...

I received my copy of "Every Human Has Rights: a Photographic Declaration for Kids" this afternoon. I sat down and read through it immediately. What a great message. i try to teach these messages everyday to my ESOL classes. This was a fantastic tool in words and pictures to help get that message across. The poems and writings of the children made this more realistic to my student. I think our library needs to have multiple copies of this on hand. This definately receives a rating of 5 from me.

Lisa said...

This is a book with a wonderful message that students and adults, alike, could learn from. In the foreword Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, emphasizes the importance of all rights including that of freedom and those that create economic, social, and cultural equality. The book continues to describe thirty rights that all people are entitled to. Using language straight forward enough for young students to understand each right is stated and accompanied by photos to help define what it means for citizens of the world. Each right also includes either poetry or prose written by a student related to the right. The photos and words of children will help students to empathize and see ideas from other viewpoints. It will also help students to see beyond their own world into the cultures of others. Hopefully, the book will motivate readers to want to take action to impact change.

Althought the message the book offers is powerful, I think the book is not appropriate for all readers. Much discussion would have to accompany the reading of this text. There are some pictures and ideas that would be difficult for very young readers to understand. The book requires a mature audience and in depth discussion of the material presented.

Martine Battists said...

After reading the glowing comments above I went back and revisited the book. Perhaps I missed something. Maybe it's vastly more interesting and valuable than I initially thought. After giving it to a student to read and rereading it myself- I'm still not crazy about it. The pages are too busy and crowded. So many of the "rights" are actually privileges - social security, health care, free schooling, etc. Just because the UN declares it a right doesn't make it so. The foreword states that the Universal Declaration is one of the greatest documents of human history. I think it's a collection of great ideas that we should all aspire to attain, but the greatness of the document is debatable. A sixth grade student I shared this book with was upset by the line "When young people, like this American teenager, see no hope of being protected and respected by their society, they may join street gangs and use violence to force people to respect them." Yikes! This contradicts tenets 5, 6 and 7 regarding safety, respect and justice. Using violence and force never garners respect. I doubt the author intended it to sound that way, but the student was confused and thought that's what it meant. After sharing the delightful -Afghan Dreams- (another Picnic Basket selection) with students, this book is lacking. I rate it a 2- it may be useful under the right conditions.
Denair Elementary Library
Denair, CA

sarah said...

"Every Human has Rights" is a wonderful resource for librarians and teachers. There is a lot happening on each page that can be a bit distracting (and the light gray font of the captions and poems was difficult to read), however the photographs are exquisite and powerful. Our teachers were thrilled to see this is our libraray.

4 out of 5
Sarah Nixon
Medfield Middle School Library

Anonymous said...

On first glance, this appears to be a book that might interest elementary grade children. However, many of the concepts and issues may be beyond their developmental stage. The best things about this book are the cover photograph and the photograph of the newborn on page six. This is not a book for everyone.

Patty Thomas, literacy coach said...

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live
in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
-Nelson Mandela

On the first page of this text, this quote in the foreword made an impact on me immediately. It really sums up my interpretation of the intentions of this book! As this beautiful book states the thirty Human Rights, laid out by the United Nations, student poetry and writing is included. Captions provide clarity for the photos and promote deeper thinking. The photographs depict folks from around the world and help develop empathy in the reader. There are some wonderful photographs on every page; a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

As a fourth grade teacher, I can imagine a multitude of lessons for this book. The reading could help develop strategies like comprehension, inferring, and listening skills as readers translate meaning. I can imagine this book in numerous creative efforts for reader’s theatre interpretations. It also allows endless opportunities for writing, as readers interpret photos and deeper meaning from the text.

I own an earlier version of this text (with watercolor art) which I would feel comfortable using with primary students. However, this 2009 publication could be used with older kids and adults, too. Maybe it would send amazing messages for adults to use this book for their book discussion groups. It’s definitely a book that earns a 5! Every school and library should own this book. It’s a feast in so many ways; each time I look through it, I notice more reasons to appreciate it’s poetic presentation, interesting photographs, and heartfelt message.

Anonymous said...

“Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids” has my class wondering how they can help the less fortunate around the world. It has also sparked conversation about appropriate ways young children can speak for themselves... even to adults they may not agree with. Very empowering. A conversation about the inequalities of the world should takes place prior to reading. A great book for middle school students.

Julia Pitau said...

At first glance, Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids appears to be written for elementary-aged students. However, after reading this book from cover to cover, I was convinced this was yet another well-written book that could easily be used across grades K-12. Through out the book, simple examples are given of rights each human is entitled to, which is great for young students. To get the true understanding of human rights, National Geographic included the detailed Universal Declaration of Human Rights; more appropriate for middle/high school students. This book is quite a mini-treasure with vast examples of how we, as humans, are all so different, yet require, as well as are entitled to, certain human rights.

I rank this book a Picnic 4 and a great addition to any library or classroom.

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

EShay said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" was a quick read and would make a fantastic addition to a waiting room or library for 5th grade on up. I found the list of collaborators to be interesting and perhaps that will have an impact on the success of the book: United Nations, National Geographic.
I found the pictures to be quite raw, while not so disturbing as to distract the reader. I also appreciated the various backgrounds of the individuals. The brevity was refreshing - it allowed the book to be perused in one setting, but yet it gives the reader a great deal to ponder on every page.
I did find the layout to be a bit random and might be a bit difficult to follow for some readers.
I give it a 4.5

Kathy said...

After reading, "Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" to my fourth grade class, I have decided that I will not use this as a read aloud next year. The pages are too busy and you don't know for sure which part to read first. My class had trouble staying focused as I was reading (this is not normally the case.) I was concerned about some of the "rights" that the book stated. Some of these are privileges, not rights. My students were concerned about the picture and poem of the American teenager and turning to violence if things did not work out. One aspect of the book they did enjoy was the ages of the children who wrote the poems for each right. It was exciting to them that children their age could be published in a book. I would give this book a 2 rating out of 5.

Kathy J. Johnson
4th grade
Williamsburg Elementary
Williamsburg, MO

jackie purificato said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic declaration For Kids" Is a 5 in my picnic basket. This book has so many teaching opportunities. It not only teaches the Universal Rights that all of us share, it did it in a variety of ways. I enjoyed the photographs for each right. Through the poetry of children, my students can also right their own poetry to go with the specific right, the picture or the theme word.
This book can be used when I am teaching about the topic, or when I teach poetry or theme. I would also use this in relationship to the other book that I received from the picnic basket, "Morning in a Different Place."
I am really enjoying the books that incorporate photography in the lesson.
This is a must for all middle and high school classrooms.
Jackie Purificato
Consultant teacher

Anonymous said...

The power this book wields is amazing. The pictures and writing by the children goes straight to the heart and makes the reader realize how important these rights are, and how they are ignored by so many. The cultural view is all encompassing and really can read all children. It makes these rights accessible to all and easily understood, even by the youngest children. I think this book would be great for teaching kids about differences and how many have so much less then we have. I think it would help create empathy in students to realize that they are awfully entitled in our country. Not all, but many who don't feel/think they are. I would give this a 5 out of 5.
K. Anderson - Colorado

Lemon the Duck said...

This book is for the young and old alike. Plain and simple.

The forward alone was a wealth of information. I'm embarrassed to say I had never even heard of The United Nations’ “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. Why have I never heard of this? I feel robbed.

As I read through this book I stopped and digested the meaning of each page. I didn't read it through all at once. Rather, I took each tenant and really tried to figure out what it meant to me personally; as a member of a community, country, and globe.

This book is like having a year-long, life-long curriculum.
Some of the learning tool ideas/discussions that immediately popped into my head:
*A perfect example of free-form poetry
*Use during my establishment of classroom rituals, routines, and community
*Reading response journals/writers notebooks---what each tenant means to each member of my classroom community
* Character education
*How might this positively and negetively impact my students' lives? Do they agree/disagree with any of the tenants and why?
*How can I my students take this beyond the page and into their own community?

The depth of poetry from the contributing adolescents made me realize that all children have the abiltiy to grasp higher level material and think beyond themselves or community (not to say this is only for school aged children).

Every person, whether they agree with the tenants or not, should be familiar with this declaration.

The thoughts running through my mind as I read this:
Why don't we enforce this more?
What does this mean to me?
Where do I find out more information and answers to follow-up questions?

I was a bit disappointed with some of book's layout, specifically the font and use of white on the page. I think the text should have been larger, darker, and in a friendlier font. The small pictures could've been increased in size while the white areas decreased. All of the pictures conveyed so much on their own and should've been showcased better.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5.
This thought-provoking book belongs on every bookshelf. Pass it on, and in your own way, you'll be "paying it forward".

Laura Backman
Reading Specialist
Author of "Lemon the Duck"
Melville School

biblauragraphy said...

“Every Human Has Rights: A photographic declaration for kids” is a useful resource for anyone who wants to help children understand issues of freedom, justice, and equality in a broad international context. While the simplified version of the Declaration that is featured in the text is clear and concise, I'm glad that the full text of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights was included in an appendix. Children are going to have questions that the simplified text does not address, and having the full text immediately available to teachers and caregivers will help them to have better conversations about the book.

The photos are well suited to the text, although a few may be disturbing for young children - especially in the spread about torture that features a victim of domestic violence on one page and a group of prisoners at a concentration camp on the other. Like the text, many of the pictures will raise further questions for children - this is a book that is probably best shared by a caregiver or teacher instead of read alone. Most of the photos, however, are a lovely celebration of people from around the world.

The standout part of this book is the excerpts from topical childrens' writing. These are a great way to engage kids with the concepts, and could potentially lead to some wonderful writing exercises. These short thought and poems are at their best when they come from the direct experience of the child who is writing. A few of the images from these excerpts - a child watching her father go down on his knees shouting "Thank God Almighty we're free at last!", a child walking through the dark in Ethiopia - are the most moving parts of the book.

I did have a few quibbles with this book, most of which have been addressed by other reviewers. The design is very busy, with text sizes and formatting changing constantly. The pages that work best are the ones that have large-format pictures and only a few sections of text. Also, some of the photo captions, which try to tie the pictures back to the text, are disjointed. Several people have mentioned the caption about gangs, which is confusing and disturbing. I also found it disappointing - but not surprising - that this picture, which is the photo that kids in my urban library are most likely to identify with, is immediately given a negative context about gangs and violence.

While I have some reservations, I think this is a valuable book. 3.5 out of 5.

Laura Koenig
Boston Public Library

Miss Connolly and Mrs. Davis said...

I must admit, I had never heard of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights before reading this book. "Every Human Has Rights" is an excellent introduction to the content, spirit and, passion of the declaration complete with youth interpretations and photographic representations of each section of the document. Clearly, the collaboration between ePals and National Geographic was seamless; they were able to translate a document written by adults into a format easily read and understood by young people. The full text version of the Declaration is included at the back of the book for reference.

Amy Planchak Graves said...

The important thing about this book (and about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is the big picture. The book's three components are powerful when taken together. Every human has rights. It’s moving.

The rights themselves aren’t up for debate in this review, as they were written sixty years ago. The document is what it is. What we can comment on is the presentation. The National Geographic talent for offering photos that are typically poignant and seemingly random (that’s a compliment!) is a good fit, and the poetry adds worlds, although it is sadly understated on the page (faint gray font).

This is a book that adults and children should read together. Every right, as well as every photo/caption, can serve as a jumping off point for meaningful discussions. But, beyond that, there are some passages that may need some explanation or intervention. One example that really struck me was how #29 is worded: “You must take responsibility for protecting your own rights and the rights of others.” Not only is that paraphrase not even close, but that’s quite a burden to unload onto a child.

I do recommend this title to pretty much anyone, but suggest that you read through it at least once before putting it on the shelf or in the hands of a child. I’ve been rereading it for a week now, which I think is what has allowed these minor details to surface, but must again say that it is the big picture that counts here, and it’s painted well.

I have a slightly more detailed review here.

Amy Planchak Graves
Children's Librarian
Manchester (NH) City Library

M. Villasenor said...

Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" is great book that can span across many grade levels. The pictures give the book a great element and can help students in the higher elementary grades understand these hard concepts. The writing and poetry done by other students is great for higher level students to help drive them to do their best work when they are able to see what their peers have written about a topic. I really enjoyed this book and think that every teacher should keep a copy of this book in their classroom. It is a 5 out of 5.

Catherine Yezak said...

I just received my copy of Every Human Has Rights and I just read it. It is a fantastic book for students of all ages. It is a good way to open a dialogue between students, especially in areas where there are mixed cultures. Where I live, we have Native Americans, Finns, Germans, Swedes, Russian, Ukrainian, you name it. Sometimes my kids have a hard time expressing their thoughts and opinions. This book makes them all equal and gives them the confidence to voice their feelings and opinions.
Catherine Yezak, Special Ed. Teacher, Marquette, Michigan

Anonymous said...

I was anxious to receive this book because I anticipated that the photos would be beautiful and compelling. After having the chance to read and look through the book, I must say I was not disappointed. However, this book definitely will find its audience with 4th or 5th grade and higher. I thought about sharing it with my 3rd graders and I think it's a little out of their reach of understanding. Overall, a very well done book.

5 out of 5

Rhonda McFarland
3rd Grade Teacher
Gates Elementary
Aurora, IL

Anonymous said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" does an excellent job making the concept of universal rights comprehensible for younger readers/students. The excellent summaries of each of the 30 rights makes the potential for understanding each and their importance more relevant for students. Hopefully, individuals reading this book will be more aware of rights that are often violated, world-wide and within their own community, thereby helping to encourage them to develop a concern for the well-being of all people.

5 out of 5

Wendy Broderick
Global History I&II Teacher
Jamestown High School
Jamestown, NY

Rachel Shollenberger, Librarian said...

Although this book is a little hard to read at first glance due to the variety of type and light print, it is worth a longer look. This is a simplified version for kids of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which is also included in the back of the book. Some of the rights have a 2 page spread devoted to one right, another page has 4 rights included on a 2 page spread. Many of the rights include poetry from an epals poetry contest, but most of the poems were written by students from the United States, not the worldwide community, as the book tries to portray. Some of it seems a little disjointed but it could spark discussions and further research into conditions around the world. I would rate this book a 3.

Rachelle Shollenberger
Eisenhower Middle School
Norristown, PA

Pamela Kramer said...

I must say that my biggest problem with this book was the light type. It made it extremely difficult for me to read (although I need bifocals, I do manage to read 4 to 5 books a week!). What I did think was that while I applaud the idea behind the book, I must agree with Martine Battists in her comments about the book. It is a book that would be very difficult for my 5th graders to understand. I would love to see a simplified version come out with darker type and less text--easier for young children to understand. I give this book 2.5 out of 5

Pamela Kramer
Reading Teacher
Highland Park, Illinois

Mandy said...

I found "Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" a very thought provoking, beautifully illustrated book. Its images immediately grabbed my attention. My students and I also enjoyed the poems/statements on the page. It gave us a chance to have some great conversations about what each right meant. It is hard for children to understand that the rights and freedoms that they enjoy are not a reality for all people of the world. This book helped to open up that discussion in my classroom. I think this book would be a wonderful resource for any school or library. I do agree that it is not the type of book to just put on your bookshelf for younger readers to read on their own. It is a book to read together and have "grand conversations" about. I feel privileged to have this book.

Tasses said...

Sorry I'm late getting this up....

I wrote a lengthy review along with questions for discussion with this title on my website: Reading Rumpus. I hope some of you considering using this book will pop over there to get some discussion ideas :-)

I'll just quickly say that I enjoyed the book very much, but thought it needed directed discussion. It would not be a book to just hand over for casual perusal.

Picnic Basket rating 4.5
Cheryl Tasses
Reading Specialist

Kelsey B. said...

At first glance, "Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids," is an eye-catching book with the photographs and different fonts and sizes of text. It also teaches some very valuable lessons in language that students can understand.

On the downside, I think that many of the images and stories would need background information for students to fully grasp the meaning. As a photography fan and a National Geographic fan, I was a bit disappointed by the lack of strong images on some of the pages. The text was also difficult to read as it jumps around. In addition, one of the tenets is that "you have the right to privacy." Students do not have the right to privacy in schools or at homes for the most part. I can already hear the students talking about this one as they read it!

I would give this book a 3. It is one that I would share with my students, but I think they will need some additional support to understand all aspects.

Laura _SPED Teacher said...

I found this book to be a wonderfully, thought provoking opportunity for students. I pre-viewed the book before allowing my students to look through it. It almost brought me to tears, I was so moved by the photographs and the captions only enhanced those feeling.

When I allowed my students to look through the book, I was amazed at their thoughts. We had just finished up a unit on the Hollacost, many of my students immediatly found a photograph related to that horrible event in history. The discovery of this photo ed to a detailed, insightful class discussion.

Assitionally, my students have "designed their own project" around the book. They each picked a photo of their choosing and researched the photo and related historical event. This was a project they asked to do, as the photographs really made the history and people real to them.

Laura Buchanan
Special Education Teacher

Susan Appleton said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" is a definite 5 in my opinion. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I had never heard of these rights! I really enjoyed the poetry that went with each right which was very thought-provoking and inspiring. I shared a couple of the rights with my students and got their opinions and thoughts about them. It really was a nice way to encourage dialogue with my students and to have them realize that even as children, they have certain rights too! It is a popular selection in our classroom right now, as they all like to get the book during extra moments and read it. I would definitely recommend this book to others and think that it could really liven up the discussion in character education classes! WONDERFUL!

Linda said...

When I first received the book, I glanced through it quickly and thought,"Wow! What a great book, but how appropriate for my fourth graders?" However, after reading the book several times in order to give a true assessment, I came to not only love the book, but feel that every library should have a copy. So often we "sugar coat" life for our students and our own children. This book doesn't sugar coat it, nor does it preach. It is a reminder of why we are here. Why we study history. Why our forefathers fought for our rights. And yes, for our responsibilities. The poems are a true reflection of the children of this generation. The pictures carry a powerful message to all and are timely. They incorporate the past and the present, with warnings and hopes for the future.

Whether you read it to your class or not is up to you. I give it a 5 out of 5.

Anonymous said...

I would rate this book a 5.

This is a great book for students to help them understand and see more of the world. I love the pictures. It really brings the words to life.
I teach grade 5 and am using this book in my immigration unit. The students have responded really well to it and I love it myself. This is a keeper for my bookshelf.

Heather S. Hill said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids" is a truly powerful and moving book. The pictures and words are to the point and direct. Even though lower elementary school children might not understand some of the book, I think the things they can understand are worthwhile to share and talk about how we treat others and how we want to be treated. In the upper elementary grades, it would be a great read-aloud to read before establishing class rules that could be revisited as needed during the year. A book well worth spending time with.

Heather Hill, Reading Specialist
Sinclair Elementary
Manassas, VA

Anonymous said...

As a librarian in a Catholic School, I was very hopeful about the title when I asked to preview this. And while there is a a lot of good messages in this book, the political undertones completely ruin it. There a lot of human wants and needs that are confused with basic human rights. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as well as safety, anti-slavery and equality are important rights that every human has. Education, Health Care, and other socioeconomic programs, while compassionate, are not rights. As happens a lot these day, a very profound and humane idea got lost within the pages of political ideology. While there is some value in this book, I think one should be cautious when using it in a classroom.

I give this book a 2 out of 5.

Ramona Klein
St Anne School

Anonymous said...

_Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids_ is a great book geared for the middle school student. The book itself takes the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and breaks it down into thirty statements that are simplified for the understanding of the young adult who would be reading the book. The book also includes a quote from a student in the middle school grades that ties in to the chosen statement from the Declaration and also has a picture or pictures that give a visual representation of the statement. My one problem with the book would be the foreword by Mary Robinson, which is wonderfully written, but definitely something that would give many students a problem understanding. This book is an absolutely wonderful resource for any student and really helps to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights something more accessible to students so that they can understand it while still giving them the Declaration in its entirety at the end. I would definitely recommend that anyone who has the chance to take it and pick up this book. I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
-John Callihan
English Instructor
Buhach Colony High School
Atwater, CA 95301

Anonymous said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A photographic declaration for kids" did an excellent job of taking the original text and bringing it alive with it's simplified text, pictures and additional commentaries by other young people.

I can't wait to share this book with my children.

Newman said...

"Every Human Has Rights" is a great resource for a social studies, ELA, art, or character class. As a principal, I automatically thought of my art teacher using these pages to inspire students to create pieces to represent each of the rights. The book lays out each of the 30 rights along with poetry written by adolescents and photos from around the world. The extension possibilities are endless.

As a stand-alone book, I am less enthusiastic about it. I think most students would simply browse the pages (it feels like a magazine). But as a resource tool, I love it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Kevin Newman
KIPP Austin Academy of Arts & Letters
Austin, TX

Bron G. said...

I stumbled upon this website and this book while searching for literature to use for a 6th grade language arts unit on tolerance. Like another reviewer mentioned, at first I was a bit disappointed that it seemed more of a picture book than one of substance. But after reading this cover to cover, I can definitely say that in this case, less is more.

Children's poetry combined with powerful images and simple declarations such as "All humans are born FREE with the same dignity and rights" give this book clarity and immediacy. I'll be using it as an introduction to my unit on tolerance and human rights. There are many, many issues touched upon in this book that can be followed up on in the classroom or at home around the dinner table.

This is a wonderful, thought-provoking, at times heart-wrenching book. Buy it, you won't regret it.

Bron Green
6th grade Gifted LA
James Monroe Middle School

Anonymous said...

While "Every Human Has Rights" is a photographic essay, I found myself entranced by the children’s prose and poetry. Their writings offered me meaningful insights that enhanced the mesmerizing pictures. It also reminded me of the blessings bestowed upon me, purely due to the fortunate circumstances of my birth. Finally, it was a poignant reminder of our country’s responsibility as a part of the United Nations to protect the rights and the dignity of all human beings.

Rating 5 out of 5.

Most sincerely,
Sue H.
Special Education Teacher
New York

JesusFreak2 said...

Beautiful, real children interposed with moving words...truly a thought provoking, discussion starting book! 4 stars.

Eileen Snover
South Mountain Middle School
6-8th grades, ESOL
Allentown, PA

Anonymous said...

Every so often, you run across a book that you can’t put down. Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids happens to be one of them. The pictures are amazing and the wording is kid friendly. After reading the book, I placed it on an easel in the media center. The students are drawn to it and often call their friends over to read with them. This is a book everyone can relate to and discuss regardless of reading level. The teachers also love this book because it can foster class discussions and debates as well as serve as writing prompts. Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids should be displayed in every library.

Anonymous said...

This is an artfully created book. Each two page spread has one of the30 UN Human Rights, with bright and topical photographs to illustrate each idea. Photographs are from around the world, some depicting failiar scenes to the average American youth, others looking very different from our lives. The addition of poems and captions under the photograph add more information and feeling to each concept. To my linear eyes, the layout is hard to take in, being very busy, but our media savvy youth will relate easily to this format. I give this 5 stars.

Susan O'Connell
Youth services Librarian
Jeudevine Memorial Library
Hardwick, VT

Laurie said...

"Every Human Has Rights" - 5 out of 5.
I read this with a 5 year old, 6 year old and 10 year old. They all really liked it. First, I read it out loud - then, they studied the pictures (their decision) and asked questions which lead to more in-depth discussion.

Very good book to jumpstart conversations. As a book for a child to read alone, it would be better suited to junior high and above - but to read together, it's great for all ages.

Anonymous said...

I was excited to receive this book, hoping that it would be an uplifting and simple explanation for a difficult and complicated subject. In many ways it is that, with beautiful pictures and poems by children that are very moving. However, I was disappointed on first reading it in that it seems a little confusing for me as an adult and must be even more so for young people - too much on the page, which detracts from the pictures and message, tiny, pale print which really doesn't seem to add to the aesthetics so I am not sure why it was used, and a couple of pictures that are going to cause an uproar among parents in our rural community, such as the same sex married couple. I love the idea of the book, and especially that it has the full text at the back for further reference, but view it as more for middle school aged children and up, and might need a caveat for parents.

Kris McAllister said...

"Every Human has rights" describes each right in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights with poignant words and outstanding photography. The poetry written by children strikes at the heart of each human right. This book has a place in every school library.

jathiel said...

I give this book a 5 out of 5! I am currently working with a group of educator on incorporating The Right of a Child into the classroom. We are always looking for books that tie into this concept and this book is perfect! It will serve as a nice bridge to explore social justice and community outreach. I can't wait to use the book in my class to foster meaningful and critical discussion.
This book is colorful, heartfelt, and empowering. I would recommend it for any teacher and any library.

Anonymous said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic declaration for Kids" is a beautiful book that will inspire readers young and old to examine their beliefs, thoughts and patriotism. Shared this with my seventh grade daughter and she immediately wanted to share with Civics teacher! It opened a family discussion on our rights, privileges and our dreams. I give this a five!

Anonymous said...

Every Human Has Rights: A photographic declaration for kids"
is a book that belongs in all schools. My school is one which particiaptes as a Peace Builder school and uses many books that build character and develop ethics. We had a workshop where we discussed these human rights and then tackles ways in which we'd addresses these issues in our elementary classrooms. This book is a pathway to great discussions. Children will see so many things in the photographs and their questions and comments bring to the center of attention issues adults may find difficult to address, but once a child questions or comments on one of these issues the dialogue is opened. My 4th grade students impressed me today with what they know of the world,it's pressures and of right and wrong. I have a compassionate group of chldren and I can't wait to see what they think of the poetry as we continue to read and enjoy this book. It will help open eyes and develop a compassionate world....and I had to emphasis that they rights we read about applied to THEM.

L. Santella -teacher

Anonymous said...

"Every Human Has Rights: A Photographic Declaration of for Kids" offers moving photographs that illicit an immediate emotional response. These photographs and declarations of human rights are accompanied by incredibly honest, beautiful and sometimes autobiographical poems by children. This book is an honest way to begin discussions with children and young adults about human rights. I am going to suggest that this book be integrated into our character education program.

I enjoyed the amount of white space left of pages, but felt like the layout was sometimes unbalanced. I think the intention was to produce a scrapbook like product, but the effect is incomplete and pages often lack movement.

Picnic Basket Rating: 4 out of 5

Jennifer Sherman
Second Grade Teacher
Vitalistic Therapeutic Charter School of the Lehigh Valley
Bethlehem, PA

Tracey Bowes said...

"Every Human has Rights: A Photograhpic Declaration for Kids" will be well read in my classroom! The delightful pictures will be used for encouraging the students to explore their connections, impressions and wonderings about children from around the world.

I like the mixture of student-written texts, captions under the photos and the quotes from the declaration. I think this will show the kids that there are many ways to represent your thoughts and ideas.

I think this book will be especially popular in our room because of our curricular emphasis on democracy in grade 6. Daily, we engage in discussions and activities that relate to many of the pages in this book. If I didn't teach this grade with the democracy focus, I know my kids would be interested in it, but would need a lot more encouragement to "dig deep" into the themes and ideas.

Overall, a wonderful book that I will share as a read aloud, as well as use as an example for future representation projects on democracy.

Picnic Basket Rating: 5 out of 5

Tracey Bowes
Gr. 6 Humanities Teacher and Literacy Lead Teacher
Chestermere Lake Middle School
Chestermere, AB Canada

Anonymous said...

Highly recommended. In fact, I think the sections would make fine unit themes for English or History.
five of five.

-Rachel Mahlke
English Seven
OMI Academy
Oakland, CA

Natalie, teacher, Philadelphia, PA said...

This book is a wonderful teaching tool. Each page has great text with awesome pictures and the poems are wonderful. This book can be used for any age group. I choose just a few pages to lead a discussion with my first grade class and they really enjoyed it. I give this book a 5. Every teacher should own this powerful book!

Tegan said...

What a great book! I think this book will be a great way to introduce my students to the purposes of the UN as well as the struggle for human rights!

Treasure Hatch said...

The illustrations in this book were poignant

The Black Family said...

This is a great book for helping kids understand the declaration of Human Rights put out by the U.N. The book focuses on an optimistic look at what the world could look like if everyone were treated equally. Definitely a book for idealists and dreamers, it is a nice change from some dooms day photographic collections picturing bloated stomachs and bombed villages. This book provides hope. The format may be a bit difficult for some students, as the text is kind of all over the page. I would give it a 4 out of 5.

K. Burnett said...

Every child, in every school, in every part of the country needs to read this book. The pictures are fabulous, the wording fantastic, and the idea terrific.

I read it several times and think it contains extremely important information for everyone.

5 out of 5

Burlington, IA

k. Evans said...

"Every Human Has Rights" is an excellent class resource for Grade 1 on up. BC curriculum requires Grade 1 and older to teach on rights, roles and responsibilities in Social Studies. This can be a difficult topic to teach on and resources are somewhat hard to find. "Every Human Has Rights" is a beautiful hard cover book that has pictures to represent each right and appeals to the younger grades and text to support it to engage an older student. I think this book would be a great classroom resource especially to support the Social Studies curriculum. I would give it a 5.

SunshineFamily said...

I have not had the opportunity to read all the comments but I did read several that said this book is for older students. I have to disagree. The images and the children's stories are compelling to young children. While a first or second grader cannot read the text, they can certainly find deep meaning and understanding from the images. By reading aloud sections to first graders I saw right away their eagerness to hear more about these children. It helps children to make a connections to the world beyond what they can see, teaches empathy and tolerance.
Perhaps there is a certain hesitance to present materials that may be controversial and unpleasant but I feel this book is hopeful. It is not the child that cannot branch out their thinking. One comment said they would leave this for fourth graders but that is underestimating the younger child.

Anonymous said...

This is an amazing book. The photos are very powerful. In today's day and age our children are exposed to so much very early on. I think this book helps them see these images for what they are and encourages them to empathize. It shows what life is like for others and doesn't gloss over it or glorify violence, like our children see in movies and television. It has proven to be a great book for starting serious, yet age appropriate discussions with both my own children and my students. I think that it certainly reaches it's goal of showing that "Every Human Has Rights" and getting the reader to understand this concept.

Rebecca said...

This book was interesting although some of the rights could not be discussed with a younger audience. The photography was very interesting and kept my 2nd grades tuned in to the story.

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