My Heart Will Not Sit Down
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My Heart Will Not Sit Down

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  102 ratings  ·  36 reviews
When Kedi hears about America's Great Depression from her teacher, her heart will not sit down. Men and women are unable to find work. Children are going hungry. In her teacher's village of New York City, people are starving because they do not have money to buy food. But can one small girl in Africa's Cameroon like Kedi make a difference all the way across the great salt...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 10th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Katie Lebkuecher
Opening: Most Americans today don’t have to worry about where they are going to sleep tonight or when they are going to eat next. During the Great Depression, the number of homeless people and people living in poverty was a lot higher than it is now. Around the world, however, millions of people worry about how they are going to feed their families and where they are going to sleep tonight, but many of those poor countries, we call them Third World Countries, are full of people that want to help...more
Edward Sullivan
Based on a true story, an inspiring and moving tale of compassion and generosity.
Megan Wismer
Audience: K-3
Genre: Fiction

Quote to promote mental image: pg 23-24
"Then she heard the noise, thump, thump, thump, thump like the bead of a drum - the sound of many footsteps. First the headman came. Next came the men from the palaver house, and after them, the uncle with his basket and the other men and boys. Then came all the women: grandmothers, young mothers with their babies, laughing girls. Last of all came Mama.
'We have heard about the hunger in our teacher's village,' said the headman, 'O...more
Maureen
A little girl named Kedi living in the African country of Cameroon learns from her American teacher that people in New York were starving because they did not have money to buy food. This news makes her "heart stand up and it will not sit down" until she is able to do something to help. She asks her mother for money to send, but there is none. Then Kedi goes throughout her village asking for help, but there is no extra money to give. Kedi is sad that she cannot help. The next morning, her mother...more
Danaschaeffer
This is a great multi cultural story to read to elementary school students. Its about a little girl named Kedi who lives in Africa and hears about America's great depression. Her school teacher explains to her class that America is struggling with money and is having a hard time buying food. Kedi can not stop feeling guilty about this, so after school she try's her hardest to collect money for the Americans and succeeds in the thoughtful process. I loved reading this story because it did a wonde...more
Kris
This one tugged at my heart, more than I expected it to. Kedi lives in Cameroon and her teacher is from America. He tells them about the Great Depression that is making people go hungry in his homeland. Although America is far away "across the great salt river", Kedi feels compassion for the hungry children and her heart will not sit down. She finds a way to raise money in her small village, a village where money is scarce, to send to those in need in the United States.

The author's note at the...more
Tasha
Inspired by the true story of a village in Cameroon donating $3.77 in 1931 to the city of New York to help feed the hungry during the Great Depression. In this picture book version of the story, the main character is Kedi, a girl who learns from her American teacher that people in his hometown of New York City were going hungry due to the Depression. Kedi could not stop thinking of the hungry children in America, even though they lived so far away. Her heart would not sit down until she did some...more
Laura Salas
Based on a true story, this lovely picture book is set in Cameroon, Africa, in the early 1930s. A missionary teacher in Africa has told his students there about the hardships Americans--across the great salt river--are facing. Kedi's "heart will not sit down," because she's so troubled by the tales her teacher tells. Despite their own hard lives and poverty and initial resistance, Kedi and the people of her village donate what they can to send to America to help.

This book grew on me with repeate...more
Laura
Kedi, a young girl living in Africa, learns about the Great Depression in American from her young American teacher. Concerned about the poverty and hunger she hears about, she decides to raise money to send to the children of New York. She asks everyone in her community for money, but no one wants to give to people they've never met or seen before. Kedi's mother gives her a coin to send to America and while Kedi is at school, other community members show up to donate their coins too.

A sweet, to...more
Heather
This is such a great book to read to children. This book teaches children to give and not to be greedy. This book is about about how America is having a tough time with money and this girl from Africa, Kedi feels guilty that she is not helping. So she figures out a way to help and makes a difference. This story is ironic because it is just the opposite now where Africa is poor and the US is no longer going through a depression. I recommend reading this to a class and see if any children want to...more
Shelli
My Heart Will Not Sit Down is a touching story that is loosely based on a generous donation of $3.77 that was made in the 1930's to feed the hungry during The Great Depression. This donation was raised from an entire village, who heard from their school teacher about the struggles in his home country across the Great Salt River. Reading about people who have so little and still find a way to give to others makes my heart restless to do more myself. What a beautiful message to share with children...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Based on a true story, this picture book is set in Africa during 1931. A young girl is concerned about the people that she hears about from her teacher (an American from NYC) who tells her about the depression they are facing. I loved the phrase "my heart will not sit down" which was repeated throughout the book. It carried so much meaning as you read about the compassion this young girl felt towards people she did not even know and how it compelled her to act.

Lauren
I found it really problematic that where Kedi's village is located (Cameroon) is not even mentioned until the author's note at the end (why is "African" perceived as sufficiently descriptive in children's books?). The narrative isn't very interesting. As a matter of fact, everything interesting -- the details, the specifics -- is packed into the author's note. The illustrations are bright and warm but not particularly memorable.
Lindsay
Yes! A great book about kindness whose author is clearly concerned with accuracy and cultural sensitivity. I also appreciate the many messages - even a small action from a small person can make a difference and Africans are capable of charity, too, as examples. And oh! The beautiful turn of phrase that is the title. A wonderful poetic description of conscience. Vibrant illustrations
Jennifer
Kedi, a little girl in Cameroon, learns about the Great Depression in America from her teacher. She attempts to raise money to help feed the children in America. The author's note at the conclusion explains the factual basis for the story. Pros: A sweet, heartwarming story about helping others in need; colorful illustrations; well written; author's note provides context
Randie
During the 1920s-1930s, the United States was experiencing the Great Depression.

Meanawhile, in Africa, a woman, Kedi, was very concerned about children not having anything to eat in New York. She helped raised $3.77 and sent to New York to buy food for the starving. The irony is that the Kedi was living in greater poverty...and still is.

Kathy Ellen Davis
I really liked this book!
Great story about a girl in an African Village who hears about the Depression in the US and wants to help.
I think it would be a great book to start a discussion with children about how we can all help each other.

Beautiful language and lovely pictures.
Sharon Lawler
When a little girl in Cameroon learn that children in the distant village of New York are hungry due to the economic crisis known as the Great Depression, she collects money from her fellow villagers to send to New York. Based on a true story, with author's note in the back.
Kelsey
Oct 27, 2012 Kelsey added it
This book will pull at your heartstrings. It exemplifies compassion and shoes the care that a young African girl has for all the people suffering in the depression in New York City. It also shows how small people can do big thongs. A wonderful and uplifting story.
Paula
In 1931 Cameroon, young Kedi is upset to learn that children in her American teacher's village of New York are going hungry because of the Great Depression, and she asks her mother, neighbors, and even the headman for money to help. Includes historical notes.
Serina
ok book. i liked the pic and the title really grabbed my attention. however, i just couldnt wrap my head around africa sending money to usa. i liked the idea of helping even if your poor, but since its not the great depression currently, couldn't quite relate.

Great Books
During the Great Depression, a young girl in Africa, is saddened by the news children are hungry in the village of New York City. Her heart will not sit down until she has stirred the villagers to contribute their coins to the cause. Reviewer 17
ReadingWench
This book was inspired by a true story. In 1931, the city of New York recieved a gift of $3.77 to feed the hungry from Cameroon in Africa.

For your older child, perhaps 3rd or 4th grade, due to the subject matter.

AR 4.4

Gwen the Librarian
The overall score for this book is hampered by the illustrations, which did not appeal to me. The text and the idea of the book, about people around the world helping each other when they are in need, is lovely.
Arlene Allen
Based on a true story, about a truly generous people and an incredible act of sacrifice and kindess on behalf of the people of Cameroon for the children of New York City during the Great Depression.
Allison
I felt that this book was too wordy and took a while to get the message told. I think the story is an amazing one almost lost to time, but I wish it had been written more like "14 Cows for America"
Adrielle
A gorgeous, humbling story about generosity and compassion.

"All day, Kedi thought about the hungry children in New York, America, and her heart stood up for them in sympathy."
Mila
Such a 'must' read!
Story about generosity that goes beyond sharing what we have but also what we can share when we have little or none, even when it seems insignificant.
Tracie
Kedi, a young girl in Africa's Cameroon, is inspired to take action when she learns about America's Great Depression from her teacher. Inspired by a true story.
Erin
Loved the message in this one, and will especially hold onto the line 'my heart stands up and it will not sit down'. I think kids can really connect to this idea.
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198514
Mara Rockliff is the author of many books for children, including The Busiest Street in Town and Me and Momma and Big John, winner of the Golden Kite Award. She lives in Virginia.
More about Mara Rockliff...
Get Real: What Kind of World are YOU Buying? The Grudge Keeper Me and Momma and Big John The Busiest Street in Town Next to an Ant

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