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One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference
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One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  360 ratings  ·  126 reviews
Inspired by true events, One Hen tells the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many. After his father died, Kojo had to quit school to help his mother collect firewood to sell at the market. When his mother receives a loan from some village families, she gives a little money to her son. With this tiny loan, Kojo ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2008 by Kids Can Press
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The subtitle of One Hen suggests eligibility for the Jane Addams book award, which prizes children's books that encourage young people to participate in creative solutions to problems. In One Hen, Kojo has a good idea, to use a small loan from village co-op funds to buy a hen: the hen produces eggs, the eggs bring in funds to buy more hens, more eggs, school fees, and eventually a farm, which provides employment and pays taxes that support the entire country. Kojo also makes a loan to another f ...more
Nov 20, 2013 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a true story about a young boy who turns a small loan into a profitable business. The narrative has two layers; a simple, short narrative about what Kojo did, printed in a larger font, followed by a longer narrative explanation of what happened. The story isn't very long, but we still broke it up into two readings (mainly because I was very tired and was starting to fall asleep.)

The illustrations are terrific and complement the story very nicely. We really enjoyed reading this book toge
(NS) Lauren
Grade Level: 2-4

This whimsically illustrated story about a boy named Kojo in modern-day Ghana, is based on the life of entrepreneur Kwabena Darko. When Kojo asks for the money left-over from a small business loan received by his mother, he buys a hen and begins selling the extra eggs at the market. As time goes on, Kojo is able to turn his profits into additional hens, and raises enough money for school fees. His investment in "one hen" eventually evoloves into the biggest poultry farm in Wester
NSAndrew Liebergen
Award winning book
Fantastic art work
Integral pictures to the story
for grades 3-5 but with the topic of microlending easily usable up into high school.

I can see why this one won!

One Hen is the inspiring story Kojo, a young boy from Ghana, Africa. Kojo and his widowed mother collect firewood to sell. They live:

in a mud-walled house with an open fire for cooking. Beside it is a garden where they grow their own food. They never have much money or much to eat.

The families in Kojo’s village come up w
I didn't expect to be adding picture books to GoodReads, but I couldn't resist adding this one. One Hen is the story of a boy living in Ghana whose mother gets a loan to buy a cart so she can carry more wood to the market. Using a few leftover pennies from the loan, Kojo buys a hen so he can sell the eggs. Based on the life of Kwabena Darko, a poor boy who learned to raise chickens and today is a successful poultry producer, the story is really a primer on the microfinance movement. Kwabena Dark ...more
One Hen is a story about a young boy, Kojo, living in Africa who is being raised by his mother after his father’s death. They live in a poor, rural village and the boy has to stop going to school in order to help his mother. They gather and sell firewood in the village square. One day the village decides to start saving money and work together to give a loan to each family in turn. When it is Kojo’s families turn his mother buys a cart so they can carry and sell more wood at a time. With the lef ...more
Katie Smith Milway’s, One Hen, is a must read!

Milway’s impressive resume: partner at the Bridgespan Group, coordinator of community development programs in Africa for Food for the Hungry International, and living and working in Africa for years doing research, made her more than qualified to create an accurate and authentic portrayal of a young Ghanian boy’s life. ( With an inspirational idea, perseverance, and a small loan, the young boy, Kojo, changes not only his l
Noelle Marie
Kojo and his mother live in a village in the Ashanti region of Ghana. Since his father died, Kojo has had to quit school and help his mother sell wood in the market. He and his mother never have much money or much food to eat. None of the families in their area have much money but they do have a good idea. Each family plans to save a little money so that one family may buy something important. Each family will take turns borrowing the money. When it is Kojo’s families turn to borrow the money th ...more
Mitel Patel
One Hen How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference by Katie Smith Milway

One Hen is the moving story about Kojo, a young boy from Ghana. Kojo and his widowed mother collect firewood to sell. They live in a mud-walled house with an open fire for cooking. Beside it is a garden where they grow their own food. They never have much money or much to eat. The families in Kojo’s village come up with an idea and from then Kojo’s life starts to change for the better. An exciting story, suitable for KS2. The author does an outstanding job in taking an adult topic and weaving i
One Hen: How one small loan made a big difference by Katie Smith Milway is aNon-Fiction story set in Ghana.I like this book for its multicultural information about economies outside the United States and the life and struggles families must faces in another country. I choose this book for its positive story about how good choices and hard work can create opportunities and improve not only a child’s life but a families and towns existence. This book is a great example of paying it forward and how ...more
Elle Harris
Kojo is a boy that lives in a mud walled house in Ghana with his mother. His Father has passed away, so he has had to quit school and help his Mother work to help keep afloat. When Kojo is given a small loan he has an idea to buy a hen. With that hen he can make money, repay his loan, and feed him and his Mother. After he profits from having a hen, he starts to buy more and more hens. He eventually is able to pay his school fines and buy a uniform in order to go back to school. This is an inspir ...more
Michelle McBeth
This is the story of a little boy named Kojo who lives in a village in Ghana, Africa. He and his mother are very poor. He has to work to provide food and is no longer able to afford to go to school. But he lives in a community with a loan program. The community pools its resources and loans what little is available to one family who buys something that enables them to make more money. They then pay the loan back and the money moves on to the next family. Kojo uses a little bit of his mother's sh ...more
I love this book’s colorful illustrations. It is a fun way to deliver factual information to students about different cultures. This story starts out with a boy named Kojo he lives in a small, poor village in Ghana. He has to stop going to school so that he can help his mother and raise some money. Kojo decides to use a little money, borrowed from his mother, to buy a hen. He hopes to eat the hen’s eggs and sell some eggs in order to raise more money. Eventually, the hen starts to lay eggs for K ...more
DyolF Dixon
One Hen by Katie Smith Milway is the story of a boy starting out in, Ghana in West Africa. The people of his village put the little money they have together and loan the money to one family to buy the things they need to start a business. When the family that was given the loan pays it back, the next family get a loan.
The cover is full of bright colors and figures that catch the attention of potential readers. The pictures on each page give movement and meaning to the story. The curve shapes on
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This was an inspiring story about how a small monetary loan to a boy in Africa snowballed into economic prosperity not only for the man the boy became, but for those around him, and, ultimately, his country. Apparently there are organizations you can contribute money to that give out small, low-interest loans to individuals in third-world countries to help them better themselves economically. Most interesting... and highly recommended!
Jordan Croom
One Hen, is the story of a young boy named Kojo that lives in Ghana with his mother. After the death of his father Kojo is forced to drop out of school in order to help his mother collect wood so that they can make a living. In the small community that Kojo and his mother live in, everyone works together to help each other live the best lives that they can. One their own, they are all too poor to buy the things that they need in order to make more money, so they all take turns taking out loans ...more
Elizabeth Byers
This book was about a young boy named Kojo who lived in a small village in Ghana, Africa. One by one, the twenty families that comprise the small village decide to all save a bit of money and lend the money to other families so that they can buy something they need. When it is finally Kojo’s mother’s turn to borrow the money to buy something, she buys a cart so that they can take more firewood to the market to sell. Kojo decides to invest in a hen. the rest of the story tells about his journey s ...more
Milway did a fabulous job writing about Kwabena Darko's story. It is so inspiring and speaks to many life lessons that upper elementary children could easily relate to. I loved that each of the pages with text has one sentence that basically summarizes the page and follows the next step in Kojo's journey.

I think this would be a wonderful book to use for a "me on the map" activity showing their impact on the world. It really shows students the larger role that they have in our world. One Hen can
Hannah Wambach
One Hen tells the true story of Kojo, a young boy from a small West African village who through hard work transforms the purchase of One Hen into his education and business that helped to support his family and the village beyond. The vivid illustrations transport the reader to Kojo's village and tracks his journey. This text could be easily transported into the modern day classroom. This text could inspire a class or child to take on a project or social issue that they hope to conquer. The best ...more
T. Denise
This book absolutely impressed me. Milway tells the story of a young boy who ends up leaving school to help his mother make ends meet. The Ghanian village that he lives in advocated cooperative economics, a system where community families pool money into a pot to purchase business related items for their small family enterprises.

Kojo, the main character of the story, eventually requests leftover funds from the community pot his mother uses to buy a wheelbarrow. He has the bright idea to purchase
Ally Copper
"One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference" by Katie Smith Milway is such an excellent book for young children to read! Though it is in a picture book format, the text is similar, in quantity and rigor, to that of an easy reader or a beginning chapter book. This won't be a quick read for children, but it will be educational and rewarding. Kojo and his mother are very poor Ghanaians who often do not have enough to eat. "One Hen" is NOT a book about how rich Westerners come into Ghana to s ...more
Dena (Batch of Books)
I really liked this book! This is a true story about a young boy that borrows money from his mother to buy a hen. He sells the eggs from the hen until he pays back the loan and buys another hen. And another. Soon he is making enough money to buy the books and uniform required to attend school. He has also provided his mother and himself with a nutritious food source as well as an income. He eventually grows his chicken farm to be one of the largest in the country and provides jobs for many more ...more
Shaeley Santiago
Based on the real life story of Kwabena Darko, a poor young boy, Kojo, and his mother live in the Ashanti region of Ghana. The villagers decide to pool their money together for a loan so one family at a time can buy something important. When its her turn, Kojo's mother buys a cart to haul more firewood to the market. Kojo takes a few leftover coins and buys a hen. Eventually that hen leads to an egg business which allows Kojo to buy more hens. By now, he is making enough money from selling all t ...more
Randy Z
This book called One Hen written by Katie Smith Milway is a really fascinating book telling how a kid made one small little loan that changed his whole life, his family's life, and his village.
The little boy Kojo lived in a poor village and in a poor little family. His dad died when he was very young and now only had his mother. Since no one in the family had enough money to send Kojo to school anymore, he had to quit and help his mother to work. Their job was to carry firewood to different pl
Hamant R
Kojo's neighborhood wasn't exactly the higher class neighborhood, it was rather more poor than other villages. His mom had to work as hard as she could after Kojo's dad past away so Kojo had to quit school and help his mother out to keep them from going poor.
One day his mom got a loan from the other people in the village, the people in the villgae had come up of a way to make everyone in their village to have a few extra dollars by giving each other loans. So when it was Kojo's moms turn to ge
Amber Griesmer
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Canadian Children's Book Centre
Kids Can Press continues its winning formula of informational picture books with One Hen. It follows in the style of If the World Were A Village, Tree of Life and One Well. I find these books extremely appealing, both for their design and their content. One Hen tells us the story of Kojo, a boy in an African village who uses a small loan from the families in his village to buy a chicken. From this modest beginning, Kojo grows up to be a successful egg farmer who has helped to bring prosperity to ...more
Based on the life of Kwabena Darko, founder of Sinapi Aba (Mustard Seed) Trust. This wonderful picture book follows the story of Kojo a poor farm boy living in the Ashanti region of Ghana. With a loan from his mother, Kojo purchases a hen. The hen lays eggs that Kojo sells at market. Within a few weeks, Kojo is able to buy another hen and then another and so on. Soon he is able to buy a uniform an pay his school fees. After winning a scholarship, he goes on to university to study agriculture. Ko ...more
Published: 2008, Kids Can Press
Age: 7-10
Young Kojo lives in Ghana in a small Ashanti village. He had to quit school and help his mother sell firewood at the market because his father died. They are very poor. The village has a system where they offer small loans. Each family takes a turn borrowing the money to improve their lives. When the money is paid back another family can borrow the money. When it is Kojo’s mother’s turn, she buys a cart to carry the wood and Kojo gets a little that is left
I wish the rating system didn't go from "I really liked it" to "it was amazing." There's a lot of room in between for some excellent books. To me, One Hen is one of them. One Hen tells the inspiring story of a young Ghanian boy who lives in a village that decides to pool its money so individual families can borrow the money to invest in building small businesses that will better support their families. When each family repays its loan, the fund moves on to the next family.

Kojo and his mother fi
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