Book Information

Reader Personality Type
Atheneum 2013
Character-Building Curriculum

"As I walk through This wicked world Searchin' for light in the darkness of insanity I ask myself Is all hope gone? Is there only pain and hatred and misery? And each time I feel like this inside There's one thing I want to know: What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?" -- Nick Lowe "Peace begins with a smile." -- Mother Teresa

I am sitting here, smiling, patiently waiting for a couple of my young adult friends to finish poring over this remarkable book so that I can write about it... ...Still waiting. Still smiling. There is just so much to look at and read and ponder and share in this book that is crafted from a mixture of hundreds of images, a multitude of philosophical quotations by well-known and not-so-well-known people, and a poem about finding peace that ties it all together.

Here is a list of those whose words are shared in the book:

Jeremy Aldana Maya Angelou Kofi A. Annan Carol Bellamy Paul Bennett Buddha Leo F. Buscaglia Albert Camus Jimmy Carter Roberto Clemente Winston Churchill Confucius Dali Lama Tony DeLiso Fyodor Dostoyevsky Wayne W. Dyer Albert Einstein Epictetus Adolfo Perez Esquivel William Faulkner Beverly Flanigan Anne Frank Robert Fulghum Gandhi Maha Ghosananda Kahlil Gibran Whoopi Goldberg Emma Goldman Ernest Hemingway Jimi Hendrix Etty Hillesum Daisuku Ikeda Gerald G. Jampolsky Kalu 'N Kalu John F. Kennedy Kathleen Vande Kieft Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Brian Koslow Lao Tzu Abraham Lincoln Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Wangari Maathai Donzella Michele Malone Nelson Mandela Horace Mann Margaret Mead Raul Midon Mother Teresa Peace Pilgrim Pope John Paul II Plato Archbishop Oscar Romero Albert Schweitzer William Shakespeare Robert Alan Silverstein Lewis B. Smedes Meryl Streep Thich Nhat Hanh Rigoberta Menchu Tum Desmond Tutu Mark Twain Frank Tyger Neale Donald Walsch Walt Whitman

Wendy Anderson Halperin's spreads here are made up of watercolor and pencil illustrations of people, creatures, plants, and settings from all over the planet. They are very child-friendly. Any four year-old will have a great time looking through all of the pictures. But, as you might sense from the list of those quoted, this is a philosophy book that can as easily be employed in high school AP classes as it can be shared with third and fourth graders.

One of the many things I really like here, having now gone through the book a bunch of times, is that there are parallel situations depicted in the images that advocate for the right way to conduct oneself. For instance, in one image, early in the book, an old guy with a cane is standing on a crowded train. Later in the book, in a repetition of that scene, we see that a young boy has given up his seat for the old guy. Early in the book, we see two kids tussling over something. Later in the book, in a repetition of that scene, we see a third kid mediating the situation. Early in the book, we see a boy watching as -- unbeknownst to the driver -- a couple of sacks fall from the back of his bicycle-propelled cart. Later in the book, we see that the boy has stopped the driver and is helping reload the fallen sacks.

Again and again, those who take their time with this book will be rewarded with these lessons in right living. "In serving the best interests of children, we will serve the best interests of all humanity." -- Carol Bellamy My gosh! I haven't heard Carol Bellamy's name in a while. I knew all about her when I was a teenager on Long Island and she was in New York City politics. There is just so much brain- and heart-power here, so many ideas that are ripe for exploration and contemplation. PEACE is an absolutely beautiful book about finding peace in our world, in our countries, in our cities, in our schools, in our neighborhoods, in our homes, and in our hearts. Peace, out!  40 pages    978-0-689-82552-1

Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, Librarian, California USA

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