That's Not Fair!: Getting to Know Your Rights and Freedoms (CitizenKid)

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9781771382083: That's Not Fair!: Getting to Know Your Rights and Freedoms (CitizenKid)
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This unique addition to the CitizenKid collection, written by by Danielle S. McLaughlin, provides an accessible exploration of the rights and freedoms of citizens in a democracy through a series of six short stories starring Mayor Moe and the councillors of a sometimes wacky city. In each story, the councillors are first presented with a problem, and the group then makes a decision to address the problem with a new law, only to discover later there were unintended consequences. There is one councillor, Bug, who objects to each decision being proposed by commenting, ?That's not fair!? --- a sentiment familiar to children, who have an innate sense of justice. The topics are child-friendly: Should you be allowed to search someone's bag because you think they could have something of yours? Does it make sense to have a law that states people can say only nice things? Conclusions for each story include an extended discussion of the rights and freedoms featured in the story, along with three questions to ponder: Why did the councillors make their decision? Did the new law achieve its purpose? Were there any unexpected results? There are no right answers given. Instead children are encouraged to look at all sides of each issue, which engages their critical thinking skills and fosters empathy for other points of view. This book would be perfect for sparking spirited discussions on civics lessons and inspiring children to become involved citizens. The bright and humorous illustrations by Dharmali Patel keep the interest level high. A Note for Parents and Teachers and definitions of the rights and freedoms covered in each story are included at the end of the book.

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About the Author:

Dharmali was born in Mumbai, India. As a kid, she was fascinated with the world of animation. In 2000, she obtained a diploma in Applied Arts with a major in illustration. She is constantly exploring new illustration styles and loves the process of creating illustrations for children's books.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 3–5—Adapted from a video series by the Canadian Civil Liberties Education Trust, this title takes children through a series of episodes about unfair laws in order to teach them about democracy and rights. In an unnamed city, the bumbling Mayor Moe and his councillors, a multicolored group of anthropomorphized creatures, make unfair laws, each of which brings unforeseen consequences. Topics range from freedom of assembly to employment discrimination. The sole voice of reason is Councillor Bug, who consistently squeaks, "That's not fair!" At the end of each section, there is a summary and questions to get readers thinking. While this selection is very Western-centric, there is no mention of the Bill of Rights, which to an audience in the United States may be confusing and limit understanding of how these legal rights are guaranteed. Mayor Moe is also referred to as "Your Worship," another specifically Canadian reference. With no index or bibliography, the book reads more like a discussion starter than an informational text. The digitally rendered characters are cartoony and exaggerated, but the complicated language, with no glossary or definitions, makes it difficult to determine the appropriate audience. VERDICT Purchase as a supplement and discussion aide for curricula about rights and freedoms, but pair with another volume with more specific material about the Bill of Rights.—Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA

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