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One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid) (edition 2020)
by Katie Smith Milway (Author)
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway
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For intermediate readers. Kojo asks for a loan to buy a chicken. With his loan he is able get a chicken, to sell eggs from the chicken, and use his resources wisely to make a profit and pay the loan. It depicts a good life lesson of learning to trade, use resources wisely, and work hard. It is a beautiful story that also includes important aspects of African culture, and a window to see into the life of poverty. At the end, it includes the true story of a man who sold things to pay for his schooling and help his family. It can give people in hard situations hope.
This is an inspiring novel about a little boy who uses a chicken to change his whole life. Because of the chicken, he is able to buy more chickens. Because of the chickens, he is able to save up and go back to school. Because of the chicken, he is able to attend college. Because of the chicken, he is able to buy a farm for his mother. Because of the chicken, he is able to get married and have a big family. Because of the chicken, he is able to help others start businesses. This book is great, but wordy so primary readers could follow along and so could intermediate.
This story, based on a true story, is readable by primary readers, but will also inspire intermediate level readers. It tells the story of Kojo, who borrows a loan to buy a hen, and then helps support his family, community, and country through his stewardship and good business from selling eggs. He is able to impact many others and inspire them to fulfill their dreams by lending money from his success.
Children who dream of entrepreneurship or who have experience raising animals may connect well with this story, as may children from an African culture, as the story is set in Ghana.
One Hen is a book of hope. When children read this, I think they will see the importance of saving and investing money. I also think that they will understand how a business can grow from one small idea. Kojo and his family are poor. When his mom gets her turn for the loan, he gets to have some and buys one hen. When he makes money off its eggs, he buys another hen and so forth. He ends up with 25 hens and making money for his family. He is able to go back to school and studies agriculture. When he gets older, he starts his own farm. This farm grows to be the largest in Ghana and contributes to the economy significantly. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is great for children.
This story can teach children how businesses contribute to a country's economy. Kojo's farm gave people a place to work, he payed taxes which helped to build roads. His employees payed taxes because they were making money. All of this started with one little boy and one little chicken. That makes the story reachable to students.
Based on a true story, tells of how a poor Ghanaian boy buys a chicken through a community loan program, which eventually helps lift him, his mother, and his community out of poverty.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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I've read a few books now about Heifer International - Jan West Schrock's Give a Goat and Page McBrier's Beatrice's Goat - an organization which seeks to address international poverty by distributing agricultural animals and training, but this is the first picture-book I have read about the microloan movement. Apparently, the story in One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference is based upon the experiences of real-life Ghanaian Kwabena Darko, whose story is given in the after matter, along with more information about microfinance organizations, and a glossary. I found the narrative here engaging, and thought that the way in which Milway used the traditional nursery rhyme, This is the House That Jack Built, as a storytelling template, was quite interesting. Great results certainly do come, sometimes, from small beginnings! The accompanying artwork here from Fernandes, done in acrylic paint, is bright and boldly colorful, grabbing and retaining the reader's attention. All in all, this was an informative and engaging tale, one I would recommend to picture-book readers looking for stories about poverty, and about the microfinance movement that is attempting to address that poverty, one microloan at a time. ( )