Monday, January 18, 2010
Nonfiction Monday: The Champion of Children
The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak. By Tomek Bogacki. 2009. [September 2009]. FSG. 40 pages.
On a rainy day in 1889, a boy wandered the streets of Old Town in Warsaw, Poland. The people he saw were very poor, and they all looked hungry. Many of them were homeless children dressed in rags. The boy wished he could do something to help them. If he were king--and he imagined himself on a white horse--he would create a better world for these children, a world where no one suffered. This is the story of Janusz Korczak, a remarkable man who dedicated his life to helping children.
In this beautifully illustrated picture book biography, readers are introduced to the life and work of Janusz Korczak. It's definitely a book for older readers. (Not a picture book you'd grab for story time.)
What did I like about this one? Well, I thought the illustrations were amazing. They really drew me into this one. And the story itself while heartbreaking is oh-so-compelling. I mean it is the story of a child growing up with a dream... realizing that dream...and following it through to the oh-so-bitter end. It's a bittersweet story no doubt. Because the world isn't fair. Because not everyone gets happy endings. But it's an inspirational story as well of a man who dedicated his life to others. The book sums it up like this, "his insistence that children have the right to be loved, educated, and protected has continued to inspire people all over the world."
© Becky Laney of Young Readers