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Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together
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Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together (CitizenKid)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  139 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
It costs a lot of money to build a well in Africa --- a lot more than Ryan Hreljac had thought. Still, the six year old kept doing chores around his parents' house, even after he learned it could take him years to earn enough money. Then a friend of the family wrote an article in the local newspaper about Ryan's wish to build a well to supply people with safe, clean water. ...more
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Kids Can Press (first published 2006)
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Rating details
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Ryan Henry
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-book
I read this book for my Notable Books in a Global Society project and I am so glad that I did. It was so informative and entertaining. One of my favorite things is to hear about other peoples passions, so a whole book dedicated to peoples dreams coming true was right up my alley. It was great to see that Ryan made his, what seemed like impossible, dream come true and so did Jimmy. I loved that it incorporated different cultures and these boys put their differences aside to become best friends an ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like good stories
It was cool! Ryan, who was 7, raised money for a well in Africa. His pen pal Jimmy, who was 8, was one of the African kids who would walk miles to find water that was dirty. But when Ryan's well was built, he had fresh water and it took less time. Seems unbelievable, but it's a true story. I hope when you read it you enjoy it as much as I did. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!
Joshua Arvey
Title: Ryan and Jimmy
Author: Herb Shoveller
Genre: Non-Fiction
Themes: Non-Fiction, Respect, Notable Books for a Global Society distinction

Plot Summary: This story follows a dream that a once 1st grade student had. When Ryan, a young boy, was in first grade he had a pen pal that lived in Africa. He heard that they had to travel a far distance each day to get water. The water that they usually found was muddy and made many sick in their town. With Ryan finding this out he wanted to build a well for
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aarifa Leafpool
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
First of all I read this about 3 years ago so i don't know why it isn't up here. But it was a really motivating and heartwarming book!
Kayla Davis
This book tells the inspirational story of a six-year old boy named Ryan who sets out to raise money to drill a well in Africa and ends up with a lifelong friend and brother. This book is a very touching story and is also very inspirational. It has the potential to inspire kids to make a difference in the world like Ryan did. It also speaks to the message that in doing what is right, you may get far greater blessings than you ever expected. Ryan sought out to help the African people get clean wa ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: international
Summary: This book, written by Ryan's uncle, chronicles the experiences of Ryan who, at the age of six, learned that many children in the world don't have safe drinking water. He starts off planning to ask his parents to give him $70 for a well and ends up with a foundation and speaking engagements world-wide on behalf of safe water issues.

Response: It is impossible to stress how important this book is. It is well written, beautifully illustrated with photographs, and powerful at many levels. By
Robert Beveridge
Herb Shoveller, Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together (Kids Can Press, 2006)

One of my problems with kids' books-- which I've had ever since I was a kid-- is a feeling that sometimes the writer of the book is talking down to his intended audience. I got that sometimes while I was reading Ryan and Jimmy, and it stuck in my craw, though not enough to make me thoroughly hate the book. I like the story; I'm just not all too fond of the way Herb Shoveller (who, according to
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A great story made all the better because it's true! When in first grade Ryan, who lives in Canada, heard about people in Africa without safe water to drink. He determined to raise money to buy a well, which ended up in a small village in Uganda. Then his 4th grade class became penpals with children in that same village. Ryan's penpal was Akana Jimmy. Little did anyone know that soon the media would pick up on Ryan's intitiative, and he would end up flying to Uganda to meet Jimmy in person! Ryan ...more
Stacy Slater
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This moving true story follows Ryan from the day he first became an activist until the day his entire family takes action to save a young man's life. When Ryan was in Grade 1, his teacher told the class about children in Africa who did not have clean water. Ryan decided to raise the $70 he thought it would take to dig a well. The project grew and grew, until several years later, Ryan landed in Uganda and met the boy who had been his pen pal. Jimmy's village rejoiced over having the well, but the ...more
In first grade, Ryan Hreljac, a Canadian boy, learns about the lack of sanitary water for children in Africa. His efforts to raise money for a well in Uganda draws national attention and funding. He travels to Uganda to see his well and that is where he meets his pen pal Jimmy, a Ugandan boy. The boys are immediate pals and they continue to keep in touch. Ryan stays active in advocating for clean water. Then civil war comes to Jimmy's village. His life is in danger because he has managed to duck ...more
I give this book 4 stars because it has a lot about the good things Ryan did for Jimmy. For example, he raised a ton of money to build a well in Jimmy's village in Uganda. Also, Ryan's family let Jimmy come into Ryan's family because the rebels were doing extremely terrible things in Uganda.

I think all fourth graders should read this book because it is interesting, suspenseful, sad and inspirational.

- 4.3

I give this book 4 stars because even though it is exiting and adventures you can learn some
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A non-fiction picture book about a first grade Canadian boy who heard of a need and did what he could (and then some) to help others. Ryan’s teacher told his class about villages in Africa without access to clean water. Ryan raised the money needed to build a well in a village and his desire to help continued from there. His story was so inspiring that others in the community joined to help him. Ryan traveled to Uganda and spoke all over the world about his project. Ryan’s project still continue ...more
Victoria Becker
Oct 27, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: child-rights
Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together is a lexile level 810 which translates to a reading level T. The target reading level for 5th grade is T, U and V at the end of 5th grade. This book could be used to make connections to characters in books. This book is historical fiction.

NYS CC: Students will Explain the relationships or interactions between two or
more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical,
scientific, or technical text based on specific informa
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all ages, inspiring and memorable
This is an amazing story of generosity, pluck and luck. Ryan's six year old heart reaches across the ocean to children in Africa who have to haul water for lack of a well near where they live. He raises money for a well (long story) and eventually is even able to visit the well and meet Jimmy with whom he has been corresponding. Enter The Lord's Army who capture Jimmy who escapes to tell his riveting tale of survival and eventual rescue. An important book of compassion and resilience.
Nov 23, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens, nonfiction
The story is incredible, the writing is not. First-grader Ryan learns that some people in Africa don't have access to clean water, so he decides to raise money to dig a well - $2,000. When Ryan goes to see the well he helped make possible, he becomes friends with a local boy named Jimmy. This friendship ultimately ends up saving Jimmy's life, when war threatens his village. Great inspirational story, great to show kids that they can make a difference. Writing is pedestrian.
Brionna Barcolleh
A very courageous nine-year-old, Ryan Hreljac, completed different chores and tasks in order to raise $70 to build a well in Africa. He learns that in order to build a well he would need more money than that. He donates his money and worked harder around his house and the neighborhood to raise enough money to build one. This book promotes community service in the young community and helps build strong character.
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I wish there was a different way to share this amazing story of empathy, friendship, and the joys of sharing with others who are in need. The book has scrapbook-like photos and the entire story of a young boy's dream and amazing journey. It's just so long to read! My students took several class periods to share the book, and although they liked it, I personally felt exhausted by the end.
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: srp-2011
This is an interesting true story about one boy who made a difference. It will make a nice addition to my summer reading program on water. Though it is a true story, I sometimes wish we could find books that tell stories that don't portray Africa as always dangerous. Sure it is frequently in parts dangerous, but I don't like people to think there is no hope or peace in the world but in the US.
Marcia First
Jun 26, 2010 rated it liked it
An interesting story about a Canadian boy, Ryan, who was inspired by his teacher to earn money to build a well in Africa. He showed incredible determination, and met Jimmy, his pen pal. The story of Jimmy is quite harrowing. This is an inspirational story that teaches about social action.
Tina Fraga
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I really liked this book! I thought that the friendship that Ryan and Jimmy created across the world was very inspiring. I feel that this book is a great way to inspire other children to do what Ryan did.
Sam Bloom
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
A truly inspiring story... but the book itself is not the best-written book in the world.
Feb 12, 2010 rated it liked it
it was very inspiring
Feb 12, 2010 added it
it is very inspiring

Beth Vredenburg
Sep 23, 2016 rated it liked it
The actual story is interesting, the writing- difficult to navigate. It needs balance. Less text and more readability.
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story that proves once again that we can all make a difference.
Feb 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great book
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Storyline seemed disconnected, but would still work well with younger students.
1+1=42 (Math)
Jan 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bobbook
About a boy who wants to build a well and his African-American friend
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this is a good story 2 7 Apr 14, 2010 11:58AM  
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Herb Shoveller was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and grew up in Lively, a small community west of the city.

After primary and secondary school studies in Sudbury, he spent a year traveling in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before entering the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. There he did an Honours Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and then a Masters degree in Journalism.

After working
More about Herb Shoveller

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