Sarah's Stars

Patti McIntosh. Ollie's Field Journal: A 9/10ths Happy Story from Africa
Junior Global Citizen Club $24.00  ISBN 978-0-9739332-4-6  41 pg.
Reviewed by Lindsey, Age 14

It was springtime when my mother left to go to work for one season in far away Niger.

I was happy my mother could go to Niger and help.

I hoped that maybe I could go and visit her and see the children. I wanted to tell the story about how the children were helped. I thought maybe some of the bigger children in Niger could help me tell the story.

And so I asked.

And so I went...

Ten-year-old Ollie and her mom travel all the way from Canada to go to France, Switzerland and Niger to learn about an international organization called Médecins Sans Frontières. (Doctors Without Borders in English) Armed with her journal Ollie takes notes, talks to many of the children, asks questions and tries to help in the hospitals of Africa as best she can.

Ollie's Field Journal is many things in one: a scrapbook, a learning resource, a short story, a photo album and most importantly, an introduction to Doctors Without Borders. The book is designed in an interesting, eye-catching format. It looks as if the pages have been crumpled, charts and diagrams have been taped in, this ten-year-old has drawn notes and doodles and many photos have been pasted in. It is designed to be an easy way for children between the ages of 6-12 to learn about malnutrition. Some of the little details that really give the book atmosphere are the packing lists in the beginning of the book, the (real) footprints of the babies from the hospitals and the photos of the (also real) children in the back. It is an inspiring journal that will really motivate readers to try to help in any way that they are able to. And on top of all that, it makes a good story, too.

For anyone wishing to find out more about MSF, they can visit and if they wanted to know more about the children that "Ollie" met they can go to Oh, and don't forget to grab the nearest child you can find, paint their foot with the crayon in the back of the book and get them to mail in their footprint!

I give Ollie's Field Journal: A 9/10ths Happy Story From Africa four stars.


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