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My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World
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My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
At a school that sits on the edge of the Sahara, students are learning to speak English from a teacher who stands in front of a Webcam in North America. These students are learning in a virtual classroom. In another part of the world, kids aren't waiting to ride the bus to school—they are waiting to hop in a boat that will take them to a school that floats on a river. And ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Boyds Mills Press
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: children who like learning about children elsewhere in the world; ages 6 or 7 to 10 or 11
I didn’t like this book quite as much as My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World but it was similarly entertaining and informative.

Thirteen schools and one or more of their students are featured. They’re in different countries and they’re all different types of schools. They cover a wide spectrum in terms of resources and what’s offered. At the beginning of the book there is a map of the world and it shows the locations of the schools to be covered. Each schoo
I love the concept of this book! Through brief accounts of school children in a variety of countries, we learn about the many types of schools children attend and glimpse their cultures, and the geography and activities surrounding their lives outside the classroom. The little boxes providing a map, the country's flag, capital of the country, population and a bit about the religions and/or languages of the country helps "connect the dots" as to where in the world these schools are located. The p ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I think the subtitle of this book should have been "Various Types of Schools Around the World," because all of the schools depicted were not the norm as experienced here in the U.S., or in many other countries, for that matter. Nevertheless, it was very interesting. The countries included Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, Egypt, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Scotland, and the U.S. (but depicted home schooling). The Australian children were from the outback, and so at ...more
Kayla Barker
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-book
I thought this book was an excellent informational text. I cannot wait to use this in my future classroom. This book is about 13 different schools around the world. The book goes through each of them to tell how a school is like in that country. It talks about air schools (online/ virtual schools), monastery schools, schools with no buildings, schools on a ship, home schools, and etc. It is really cool to see all the different types of schools, children who attend them, and their story. I liked ...more
Sep 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful nonfiction book about how children around the world get an education. I think it would help children who tend to take school for granted (or, who think they hate school) to see the value placed on getting an education by those who have to go to great lengths to get one!

My son really enjoyed seeing how children in some other parts of the world go to school.
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow-I was so impressed with this book! I normally don't like to read non-fiction to my kids (I know, I know) and when I opened this one up and saw how many words were on each page, I was sure I wasn't going to like it or even end up reading the whole thing. However, it's put together really well, with very interesting facts and places and people, and my kids and I really loved reading it.
Jo Oehrlein
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Cool book for an elementary geography class or a discussion of different cultures.

Each 2 page spread shows a school in a different country. The schools are not necessarily representative of that country, but give you a flavor of something there.

Too detailed for a group read-aloud unless you just read one country a day.
Morgan Rose
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ruurs, Margriet. My School in the Rain Forest. (Illus.). Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2009. 32 pp. $17.95. ISBN 9781590786017. Photos; maps.
4 stars
Gr 2-4 The rain forest is just one of the many places in the world in which children can be found attending school; Ruurs highlights thirteen global locales in this encouraging work done in collaboration with the actual children highlighted throughout the book. The book opens with the story of the “school behind the wall” in Afghanistan: a docto
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it
The concept of this book works well for teaching about diversity in the daily life of children around the world. The 13 schools are each given a two-page spread with color photos and a text box showing a map of the region with the particular country shown in a box, a picture of the country's flag, and about five sentences about the country itself. Readers learns about students who live far from a population center using computers to connect with teachers, students who are home-schooled, students ...more
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Great nonfiction title... has photos and describes a variety of schools around the world... from kids homeschooled in the US to a young girl in Myanmar who goes to school in a monastery to kids who ride a boat to reach their school in the rainforests of Guatemala. I liked that it contained photographs and while giving facts about the school, it also included the story of a student that attends that school.

The book did make me wonder... were these schools typical of that area or atypical? For ins
Jun 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Since I'm interested in global education, this book caught my eye when I was at the library. In it, the author describes a variety of school all over the world - an international school in Malaysia, a school in Egypt where most of the classes are online, a girls' school in a village in Afghanistan and many others. The text and the photos are informative and interesting, but the repetitive layout does not encourage reading the book from cover to cover. What is really unfortunate are the mistakes ...more
Leslie Rendon
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
This book describes how children attend schools all around the world.
The images in this book are real life pictures of children attending schools which makes it interesting for children to read. This book is really descriptive about each country and it even gives small facts such as the countries population. I think it is important for children to know about how different cultures attend schools because not everyone has the advantage of school buses or receiving free books. Some children have to
While I enjoyed this trip around the world, and I think children will also enjoy it there are some drawbacks. One it does mis-identify countries on the maps of the specific pages, but I also found its economic perspective to be a little disturbing. The book does profile different types of schools, but only identifies the economic status of the poorest and those funded by charities. It seems wrong not to point out that the private school in a castle in Scotland and the international schools are V ...more
Beth Kakuma-Depew
Okay this is a lovely book, but the someone made a geography mistake and no one caught it until a patron told us about it.

On the world map on page 4 the country of Afghanistan is pointed out. On the next spread, the school in Afghanistan is featured, and a inset box tells more about the country. The circled country in the inset box is NOT Afghanistan. I think it's Uzbekistan. The country colors are the same as on the previous map.

As a map lover, I found this to be a fatal error.
Sep 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book provides a nice introduction to the variety of different ways that students go to school. It was fascinating to read about schools on boats, over the radio, in a monastery, etc. The book focuses on the schools themselves rather than on the children. I would have liked more information about the students, but overall it provides a glimpse into the variety of ways the world has found to educate her children.
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Other reviews claim there are errors in the maps ... don't know if this is true but it's something to verify.

I do think they they chose an interesting variety of schools. Kids will be naturally curious and enjoy learning about schools online, or over the radio, in a castle, or on floating school boats or cruise ships.

Makes me want to find some schools to Skype with ... at least the ones we could work around the time delay with.
Carol Baldwin
Apr 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
My School in the Rain Forest by Margriet Ruurs (Boyds Mills Press, 2009) is a wonderful addition to her other book, My Librarian is a Camel. Through beautiful photographs and interesting text, Ruurs shows how children attend classes in such varied places as an outdoor school under a tree in Kenya, onboard the MV Anastasis hospital ship, and in a floating school on a lake in Cambodia. Children from kindergarten through middle school will learn from this eye-captivating book.
This book was featured as one of the selections for the September 2010: Back-to-School reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books group here at Goodreads.
Kate Hastings
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Grades K-5. A collection of schools from around the world features how students go to school. Where students live can affect what school is like-- do people live far apart? Do students live at school? What resources are available? Who is allowed to go?

Great maps and photos make this accessible to children.
Elaine Hoach
Dec 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-230, non-fiction
Has brief accounts of what school is like in different countries and how students get there. While not the best quality of book it is an interesting concept for kids to read. And the kid on the front cover cracks me up
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
Brilliant book, perfect for breaking into close reading snippets. I can't wait to use this book to launch our literacy and social studies units. Mad mad props to Margaret Ruurs.
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Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
The Styling Librarian
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Feb 01, 2012
Ellen Moore
This book, full of photographs of children from around the world, tells the stories of real kids who go to school in different countries and situations. I think it is very cool and important to learn about all the different types of education, and it can make you feel thankful for the clean desks and paper and pencils we have. But also, I think this book sort of “single-storied” some of the countries, for example when showing a bunch of children in the dirt in Kenya portrays Kenya as the stereot ...more
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MG, PB & YA Readi...: My School Challenge 2 1 Apr 21, 2016 10:01PM  
Margriet Ruurs is the author of more than 30 children's books, many of them award winners.
Margriet lives on Salt Spring Island where she runs BETWEEN THE COVERS, a booklovers' B & B (see:
She writes regular book reviews of YA and picturebooks here:

Margriet visits schools around the world to conduct dynamic author presenta