Archive for the ‘Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People’ Category

Blog Action Day 2013: Human Rights

Books used in this review are from my personal library or were provided by my local public library. I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my website and purchase it from Amazon, I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however. I appreciate your support.

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I am honored to once again be participating in Blog Action Day, an annual free event that unites the world’s bloggers around a single theme for one day each year in order to raise awareness and understanding. This year’s theme is Human Rights.

In 1948, following the horrors of World War II, the United Nations created “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” a list of 30 ideas that represent the most basic rights of every human being. Since its creation, this document has been translated into 413 different languages making it the most translated text in the world.

It seems like simple common sense, right? Every human on this planet, no matter where they live, has certain fundamental rights that should be/must be protected. How, in a world filled with such technological prowess, medical knowledge, scientific genius and unbelievable wealth, can there be anyone, anywhere still suffering? Yet, you only have to pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio or watch the news to know that – even in our own country – some of these rights are not being respected, protected or preserved.

As always, my hope lies with the children and with those who write for and about them. The power of children’s literature can never be underestimated. That is why I continue to look for those books that empower parents to empower their children with the values and resources they will need in their future as caretakers and protectors of this world.

Happy Reading!

Kathy B.

Introduce your children to this amazing document using these kid-friendly books:

EveryHumanEvery Human has Rights: A Photographic Declaration for Kids by National Geographic with a foreword by Mary Robinson. ©2009, National Geographic Society. Ages 10-18. Each of the 30 statements in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is illustrated by a photograph which is accompanied by a caption explaining where the photo was taken and when. This is an excellent starting point for discussion with older kids as some of the photos are very clear examples of the statement involved, while others may require a bit of explanation.


We are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures by Amnesty International. ©2008, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. Ages 7-12. In honor of the 60th  anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty International invited 30 world renowned children’s book illustrators to create illustrations for each of the 30 statements in the document. The product of their endeavor is a rich and powerful tribute to the meaning of the words as seen through the eyes of children.


TikvahRightsTikvah: Children’s Book Creators Reflect on Human Rights by Norman B. Stevens, with an introduction by Elie Wiesel. ©1999, North-South Books.  All Ages, Forty-four artists, 14 Caldecott Award winners, take the issue of Human Rights to heart. With pen and ink, brush and paint, and accompanying explanatory text, each artist takes us into an issue that resonates with them on a personal level. The power of their art, along with the power of their words cannot help but move you to action.


 ©2013 Kathy Bloomfield and All rights reserved.

If I Had a Hammer: Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People

First let me apologize for skipping the month of April. I moved from Massachusetts to California and found myself over my head in the details of that 3,000 mile journey. I guess in some ways I was on my own Exodus. We were supposed to have looked at the value of iyun t’filah/being devoted in prayer. Since April was the month we celebrated Passover, I am hoping everyone had a wonderful, engaging and prayerful Seder.

This month our Eilu D’varim/These are the obligations journey has us looking at Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People. I find myself  recallng the words to The Hammer Song (by Lee Hays and Pete Seeger,) which my family sings every year at our Passover Seders.

“If I had a hammer/I’d hammer in the morning/I’d hammer in the evening/All over this land/I’d hammer out /I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters/All over this land.”

What I love most about this song is how it is so focused on the individual. It does not talk about the hammering of a group, a committee, a country or the world. No, just one individual with his or her hammer, bell and song is running around hammering, ringing and singing about “love between my brothers and my sisters.” So simple, yet that is all it takes. One person, each one of us, taking our talents in hand and making our families more peaceful, our communities more peaceful, our world more peaceful. Imagine.

Oh, and that was another great song.

Here is a list of wonderful books about peace that may help you and your family find some of those hammers, bells and songs.

A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley. National Geographic Society, © 2007.  Ages 3-6. Each individual has the ability to spread “a little peace” wherever they go.

Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class by Eileen Spinelli. Illustrated by Anne Kennedy. Albert Whitman & Company, © 2009. Ages 4-8. Miss Fox’s students are constantly bickering with each other, and she is tired of listening to it. She declares “Peace Week,” a week of respect and kindness for everyone. It starts out to be very difficult, but after a few days, the class is wondering why every week isn’t Peace Week.

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace written and illustrated by James Proimos. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, © 2009. Ages 4-8. At seven years of age, Paulie Pastrami began to make the world a better place by doing small things like being kind to animals and taking care of plants. When he decided he must achieve World Peace, he got a lot of cupcakes, his dad to drive him around, and … well, you can read the rest

Cain & Abel: Finding the Fruits of Peace by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. Illustrated by Joani Keller Rothenberg. Jewish Lights Publishing., © 2001. Ages 6-9. The biblical story (Genesis 4: 1-16) of the first case of sibling rivalry is retold here in a way that explores the reasons for Cain’s anger, the cause of Abel’s death and the lasting effects of both on today’s world.

Peace One Day: The Making of World Peace Day by Jeremy Gilley. Illustrated by Karen Blessen. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, © 2005. Ages 8-11. One person can make a difference, as Jeremy Gilley proves with his persistence in writing letters and travelling the world in order to get two country’s leaders to sponsor a World Peace Day amendment at the United Nations.

The Cupcake Club: Peace, Love and Cupcakes by Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk. Sourcebooks, Inc., © 2012.  Ages 9-12. How do you take on someone who is making your life miserable? By doing something delicious.

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci. Illustrated by Jim Rugg. Minx, © 2007. Ages 11-15. When her parents move her out of New York City and into the suburbs, Jane thinks her life is over. Then she meets a group of girls who meet her standards for “changing the world.”

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle. Ages 13-18. Henry Holt and Company, © 2008. Using free verse, Margarita Engle tells the story of a freed slave who becomes a healer watching her country fighting for freedom.

Please feel free to use the discussion questions and activities provided in the Speak Volumes Guide for this month to help you discuss Ahavaat Shalom Bein Adam Lachaveiro/Making Peace Among People with your children.

Happy Reading,

Kathy B.

©2012 Kathleen M. Bloomfield and all rights reserved.
Books used in this review came from publishers as review copies, my personal collection and my local public library.
I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a book title referred to on my web site and purchase it from Amazon, I may receive a very small commission on your purchase. You will incur no additional cost, however.

I appreciate your support.