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

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  141 Ratings  ·  50 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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(showing 1-30)
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Edward Sullivan
Jan 04, 2012 Edward Sullivan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, africa
Based on a true story, an inspiring and moving tale of compassion and generosity.
Rachel Friel
Mar 16, 2016 Rachel Friel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
This book covers a number of different ideas and is very powerful. The story takes place in a small village in Africa where young students have a teacher from America. It takes place during the Great Depression and the students are learning about what is happening in their teacher's hometown (New York). Although the students are not being directly affected by the depression, they feel very badly for their teacher and the other Americans. One student goes through great lengths to help
Samara Winter
Feb 15, 2015 Samara Winter rated it really liked it
In My Heart Will Not Sit Down a little girl named Kedi tries her best to help the little children in New York. She hears of the depression in New York from her school teacher. She goes around the village asking people for coins to help the children in New York. She knows what it feels like to go hungry at night so she wanted to help those who had nothing now that she could. On the way to school one day her mom call shed back and hands her some coins saying we don't have a lot but we'll make it. ...more
Apr 09, 2013 Maureen rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 24, 2013 Danaschaeffer rated it it was amazing
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
Megan Wismer
Jul 14, 2013 Megan Wismer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
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
Kianna Buckner
Sep 09, 2014 Kianna Buckner rated it really liked it
"My Heart Will Not Sit Down" by Mara Rockliff was a great book. Kendi went to school and her teacher explained to the students about the Depression in America. The teacher was from America so he was explaining to them how their was a lot of hungry children in New York. Kendi felt really bad about the hungry children. She went around the village asking everyone if they had money to send to New York. They all said no. Kendi was so upset. Then one day they all pitched in to give money to the kids. ...more
Add this to the books about giving to others. The story is based on an African village (always poor) that sends $3.77 to America to help those who were hungry during the Great Depression. There is extensive back matter to the story, adding even more examples of those who have little still sharing what they can. It reminds me of the book 14 Cows for America. This time, a young girl's teacher in a school in Cameroon, a missionary from America, tells the class about the hardships happening during t ...more
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
Jul 12, 2012 Tasha rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
Jul 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
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
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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This book brought tears to my eyes. It's a true story, about poor children in Cameroon, who, during the Great Depression in America in 1931, gathered and sent $3.77, a fortune to them, to feed hungry children in New York City. Imagine, people who themselves didn't always have enough to eat sending what little money they had to feed others! Rockliff includes other examples of poor people in Guatemala and Papua New Guinea willing to share with those less fortunate than themselves. I guess you are ...more
Dec 03, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 25, 2012 Shelli rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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
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.
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.

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
Apr 13, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
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 D. Camp, M.S.
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.

Jenni Heimach
Oct 07, 2015 Jenni Heimach rated it it was amazing
A beautiful lesson in giving from someone who does not have much to give when a little girl from a small village in Cameroon becomes passionate about helping New Yorkers suffering from the effects of The Depression.
Great Books
Feb 07, 2012 Great Books rated it really liked it
Shelves: family
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
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.
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

Dec 13, 2012 Serina rated it it was ok
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.

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.
Kristin Madden
Apr 18, 2016 Kristin Madden rated it it was amazing
This book has a great moral to it. We always have the ability to give and help others, no matter how much of how little we have. This is a good read aloud, but is not suitable for younger children because it is long and has a high vocabulary.
Kathy Ellen Davis
Jul 10, 2013 Kathy Ellen Davis rated it really liked it
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.
Gwen the Librarian
May 31, 2012 Gwen the Librarian rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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.
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Mara Rockliff is the author of Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France and Anything but Ordinary Addie, The True Story of Adelaide Herrmann, Queen of Magic, as well as many other books for children. She lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her family.
More about Mara Rockliff...

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