The Banana-leaf Ball: How Play Can Change The World by Katie Smith MilwayThe Banana-leaf Ball: How Play Can Change The World by Katie Smith Milway

The Banana-leaf Ball: How Play Can Change The World

byKatie Smith MilwayIllustratorShane Evans

Hardcover | April 4, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$18.29 online 
$19.95 list price save 8%
Earn 91 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


Separated from his family when they were forced to flee their home, a young East African boy named Deo lives alone in the Lukole refugee camp in Tanzania. With scarce resources at the camp, bullies have formed gangs to steal what they can, and a leader named Remy has begun targeting Deo. Then one day a coach gathers all the children to play soccer. Though Deo loves soccer and has even made his own ball out of banana leaves, he's unsure at first about joining in when he sees Remy on the field. But as Deo and the other boys get drawn into the game, everything begins to change. Their shared joy in playing provides the children --- including Remy --- with a sense of belonging. ?Ball by ball, practice by practice, children who were once afraid of each other laugh together,? the book explains, and ?no one feels so alone anymore.?

Based on a true story, Katie Smith Milway's inspiring tale shows how a desperate situation can be improved by finding common ground through play. It provides a perfect starting point for discussing the social justice issues surrounding the growing number of refugees worldwide. Award-winning Shane W. Evans's artwork powerfully and poignantly personalizes for children the experience of refugees. Furthermore, the book examines the value of using sports to build pro-social behavior, particularly as it relates to bullying. By depicting characters who change and evolve over the course of the story, kids of all backgrounds and experiences will find something positive to relate to. The back matter contains information about the ?real? Deo, instructions for games that build trust and inclusion through play, and suggestions for how to support play-based nonprofit organizations.
Katie Smith Milway, a native of Vancouver, B.C., has coordinated community development programs in Africa and Latin America for Food for the Hungry; consulted on village banking in Senegal with World Vision and was a delegate to the 1992 Earth Summit. She has written books and articles on sustainable development and is currently a part...
Title:The Banana-leaf Ball: How Play Can Change The WorldFormat:HardcoverDimensions:32 pages, 12.38 × 9.38 × 0.38 inPublished:April 4, 2017Publisher:Kids Can PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1771383313

ISBN - 13:9781771383318


Rated 5 out of 5 by from ok Kids seem to really enjoy this book.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Power of Play Kids Can Press has this great collection of books called CitizenKid. The collection mainly gear towards children eight and up features picture books to inspire our children to be global citizens. Banana Leaf Ball by Kate Smith Milway and illustrated by Shane W. Evans is the story of young Deo, forced away from his home and his family, living in Lukole refugee camp in Tanzania. Unfortunately because resources are scarce gangs begin to form in the camp and the leader of one gang, Remy, starts to target Deo. Deo loves soccer and when the coach comes to round up all the youngsters to entice them into a game, Deo and Remy are placed on the same team. An unlikely friendship is formed and Deo begins showing all the children at the camp how to make banana leaf balls so they can play soccer anytime. The power of sport is a unifying force that can unite people and can teach positive social behaviour. In this story in particular, we can see how both Deo and Remy change because of participating together in a positive sport environment. At the back of the book, the author gives us some information about the real "Deo" and about organizations that promote play-based social programs as well as some games you can use to promote inclusiveness and cooperation.
Date published: 2017-08-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Play can change a child's world. Deo Rukundo, an East African boy is forced to flee his home because of a war in his country. He ends up separated from his family and keeps running deep into the forest for safety. After many weeks where he lives on dew drops, wild fruits and leaves he finds his way to a refugee camp in Northwest Tanzania. Frightened, homesick and alone, he prays for the well-being of the rest of his family. With little resources in the refugee camp bullies emerge and vandalize those living there. They steal and intimidate everyone and they especially target Deo. Remy the gang leader is menacing and poses threats to all those he encounters. One day a coach arrives and gathers up the children to play a game of soccer. Deo used to play soccer back in his home village. He made his own soccer ball out of dried banana leaves and he is a very good player. He hesitates about joining in the game because of Remy but his excitement overcomes him and he touts his excellent soccer skills in front of the coach. Very impressed, the coach makes Deo captain of the "shirts" team. As the game progresses brand new feelings of comradery and acceptance emerge from the players as they work together as a team to score that winning goal. The kids start to laugh, forget their worries and relax. They area transformed into" kids" once again. Not only do they enjoy the present game that they are immersed in but they also enjoy each other. "Ball by ball, practice by practice, children who were once afraid of each other laugh together." In the following days the kids gather at Deo's house and he teaches them his soccer moves and how to make a ball out of dried banana leaves. Most importantly they open up to each other about their feelings and share their experiences both before refugee camp and the life they are living now. They begin to have a sense of belonging and friendship making life away from their familiar homes and beloved families much more bearable. This book is based upon a true story. It is heartwarming and inspiring. It points out that truly frightening, seemingly hopeless situations can indeed be turned around into something positive and bearable for those caught in such tragic circumstances. The book is a perfect catalyst to get kids talking about others less fortunate and the social justice issues that surround refugees all over the world. It allows them to discuss the handling of bullies and the value of sports, teamwork, sharing with each other and acceptance. The back of the book includes a biography of the "real" Deo, and games that when played build trust and approval. It suggests play-based nonprofit organizations that can be tapped into and supported so other kids can have an opportunity to be happy, carefree and enjoy playing games once again. I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2016-11-14

Editorial Reviews

This outside-looking-in depiction of the power of play to bridge new relationships in Burundi serves as a universal lesson that all readers can draw on.-Kirkus Reviews