________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 11 . . . . January 23, 2009

cover Hannah Taylor: Helping the Homeless. (Young Heroes).

Q. L. Pearce.
Detroit, MI: Kidhaven Press/Gale (Distributed in Canada by Saunders Book Company), 2008.
48 pp., hardcover, $26.40.
ISBN 978-0-7377-4051-6.

Subject Headings:
Taylor, Hannah, 1996-
Social reformers-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Philanthropists-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Ladybug Foundation-Juvenile literature.
Homelessness-Canada-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-4 / Ages 8-9.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

**½ /4


Hannah quickly recognized that the general public must understand that the homeless are people too. They deserve to be treated with dignity, but more importantly, they are not invisible. It only makes the issue worse when people turn away and pretend that the homeless are a problem that someone else must solve. Hannah hopes that people will "see them as members of their community, rather than as threats or as someone to avoid contact with or to outright ignore." She believes that they are "great people wrapped in old clothes with sad hearts." Hannah considers homeless and hungry people her heroes because of how hard they have to work simply to get through each day.

Part of the "Young Heroes" series which showcases remarkable young people, this book features Winnipeg's Hannah Taylor whose Ladybug Foundation has raised more than $1.5 million for 40 Canadian food banks, shelters and missions. The information, gleaned from interviews and other sources, is organized into four chapters, the first of which discusses Hannah's family background, her education and her favourite pastimes as well as the situation which led her, at age 5, to do something to raise awareness of the problems facing the homeless. In the second chapter, readers will learn about some of the reasons for homelessness, Hannah's "make change" program using jars painted with ladybugs, and the early beginnings of her foundation. Established in 2004, the Ladybug Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization. As its spokesperson, Hannah travels to schools and business luncheons, spreading the word about the importance of helping others who are less fortunate. The third chapter focuses on the Ladybug Foundation and Hannah's ability to balance schoolwork and family life with the demands of public speaking engagements and travel for the organization. Finally, the fourth chapter discusses the many honours bestowed upon Hannah, and other initiatives of her foundation, such as National Red Scarf Day, Ruby's Hope (a picture book she has written), and Hannah's Place, a homeless shelter in Winnipeg which opened in May, 2007. Hannah's future plans are mentioned along with some ways in which children can get involved in helping the homeless.

     The main body of the text, written in fairly simple vocabulary and short sentences, takes up only 32 pages. Colour photographs, some from Hannah's personal family albums, are included. A table of contents, a glossary, an index and a list of resources are provided.

     Generally speaking, this book achieves its purpose, but its price tag is too steep for the amount of information included and its limited audience.


Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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