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5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $11.00
also available: eBook
published: Jul 2006
pages: 144
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd


A Groundwork Guide

by Jane Springer

tagged: violence, prejudice & racism
5 of 5
1 rating
list price: $11.00
also available: eBook
published: Jul 2006
pages: 144
publisher: Groundwood Books Ltd

What is genocide? Why does it happen, and what can be done to prevent it from happening again? These urgent questions are clearly and concisely explored for young adult readers.

Some view the systematic killing, rape and destruction of homes in Darfur as a grave humanitarian crisis. For others, it’s a clear example of the ultimate crime against humanity — genocide. Who is right? What is genocide? What is the impact on humanity of wiping out entire groups of people? Who are the endangered human beings in today’s world?

This thoughtful book helps young readers understand these and other difficult questions. Providing an overview of the history of genocide worldwide, the book explores the paradox that while a person who murders another person can be tried and even executed for the crime, a person who murders hundreds or thousands of people usually goes free. Using case studies the book points out their unique character while at the same time establishing important links between them. Most important, the book answers the question, what can be done to prevent genocide from happening in the future?

"[The Groundwork Guides] are excellent books, mandatory for school libraries and the increasing body of young people prepared to take ownership of the situations and problems previous generations have left them." — Globe and Mail

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).


Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.


About the Author
Jane Springer is an author and consultant in international development. She lives in Toronto.
Author profile page >
Recommended Age and Grade
14 to 18
9 to 12
  • Commended, Maine State Library Cream of the Crop List
  • Commended, NYPL Books for the Teenage List
  • Commended, Booklist Top 10 Youth Series - Nonfiction
  • Short-listed, Norma Fleck Non-fiction Award
  • Commended, IRA Children's Book Award Notables
  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice (Starred Selection)
Editorial Reviews

The authors express strong viewpoints that are sure to jolt readers into ready agreement or opposition...These concise, straightforward titles are important additions to all collections.

— School Library Journal

Each of the four well-written and engaging books in this valuable series provides a foundation for understanding an important subject relevant to current world stability and peace.

— Library Media Connection

...concise and well-written...

— Curriculum Connections (SLJ) a lucid, informal text, Springer ably documents particular crimes against humanity...A fine resource for Holocaust and genocide curriculums, and as a discussion starter for the topic of human rights.

— Booklist

Readers will come away from the book wanting to do better, and be better, than the people who went before them who allowed such crimes to happen...

— Globe and Mail

...the book gives an impassioned overview of a timely topic.

— Horn Book

...engaging and excellent primer for anyone interested in international human rights and the fate of humankind itself.

— Halifax Chronicle-Herald

Though the topic is a dark one, Springer's passionate plea against the status quo lends her book an urgency and immediacy that pulls the reader equally through the dry legalism of United Nations statutes and the vivid horrors of genocides past and present...Highly Recommended.

— CM Magazine

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