Friday, March 20, 2020

Excellent Resource for Homeschoolers of Kids Aged 9-14

Since so many families are now forced to stay home, and a lot of parents are faced with homeschooling their kids, I'm offering a special on Childhood Regained - Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers, school editions. This cross-curriculum resource is excellent for developing skills in reading, writing, mapping, graphing, research, social studies, and social awareness, and includes fun, creative activities as well.


Receive a PDF of the CHILDHOOD REGAINED - Stories of Hope for Asian Child Workers, Canadian Schools Grs. 4-6 edition (11 stories + questions and activities) for $4 

or the Grs. 6-8 version (16 stories + questions + activities) for $5

and the accompanying teacher's/parent's guide for each (answers to questions and lots more info and activities) on PDF for only $3.

Or a FREE PDF of any one story plus study questions.  

Perfect for home printing of selected stories or reading on-screen.

Contact Jodie Renner at info(at)JodieRenner(dot)com or through Facebook messenger to get your copies.

Or purchase the print or electronic version of any of the school editions listed below, with links, and receive the teacher's/homeschooler's guide for FREE.

Childhood Regained – STUDENT EDITION, GRADES 4 TO 6. 6x9, 134 pages. ISBN: 978-0993700484. $10.95 Can. E-book is $2.86 Can. Eleven stories suitable for students aged 9 to 12. Also a glossary, comprehension questions, student activities, and more. Purchase this student edition (print or ebook) and contact Jodie Renner to receive the Gr. 4-6 accompanying teacher's/homeschooler's guide in PDF format for FREE.  
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Childhood Regained – STUDENT EDITION, GRADES 6 TO 8. 6x9, 220 pages. ISBN: 978-0995297005. $13.95 Can. E-book is $2.86. Sixteen stories and a poem, for students aged 11 to 14. Best choice when ordering class sets for middle-grade use.  Purchase this student edition (print or ebook) and contact Jodie Renner to receive the Gr. 4-6 accompanying teacher's/homeschooler's guide in PDF format for FREE.  
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*Click here to read excerpts from the stories: 

Childhood Regained – EXCERPTS


Childhood Regained – CANADIAN SCHOOLS EDITION. Trade paperback (6x9), 268 pages. ISBN: 978-0993700477. $17.95 Can. Includes all 19 stories and a poem. Best choice for use with a wide range of grades or for your school library. Add some of the thin teachers' guides (one free with each order of 10 books). Order quantities from Cobalt Books or CreateSpace Direct.  Print book on   E-book on

Childhood Regained – CANADIAN TEACHERS' GUIDE, Grades 4 to 9, 6x9, 102 pages. ISBN: 978-0995297012; $7.50 US, $9.95 Can. for print, $2.86 for ebook, or FREE with orders of 10 or more print books
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Childhood Regained – Student Edition, Grades 7 to 9. 6x9, 184 pages. ISBN: 978-0993700491. $12.95 Can.  Print book on     E-book on

Childhood Regained – AMERICAN SCHOOLS EDITION. Trade paperback (6x9), 264 pages. ISBN: 978-0993700477. $13.95 US. 
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For more info on this anthology and to read excerpts from the fascinating fictional stories that take place in South Asia, go to: or 


In the editions for grades 4 to 9, in mixed order here:
Thirteen-year-old Diya lives in rural India where she and her mother earn money doing mehndi—drawing henna tattoos on hands and feet for special occasions. When her mother falls ill, Diya agrees to work for a salon owner in the city, believing it is her chance to become a premier mehndi artist and send money home. In the salon owner’s home, Diya is no more than a domestic slave. She endures grueling labor and demeaning abuse, is made to sleep in a tiny windowless closet, and given only table scraps to eat. Diya asks to return home and is crushed when told she is the salon owner’s property, sold by her mother in a bonded labor agreement. Soon after, the salon owners depart for vacation, leaving Diya locked inside their house. Food runs out and she attempts to escape.
Nine-year-old Sanjay lives at the foot of Chomolungma, the mother of the world, Mt. Everest, in Nepal. When his father, a Sherpa guide on the mountain, is killed in an avalanche, his family begins to unravel. His mother leaves the family for a new husband. His sister is sold into the sex trade. And Sanjay is sold to the owner of a carpet shack in Kathmandu, where he works long hours tying the tiny carpet knots, hands bleeding. After much soul searching, Sanjay finds the courage to escape and begins the path to higher education and his own mountain to conquer.
WHEN THE RAINS COME by Caroline Sciriha
Nine-year-old Sita works with her father in a stone quarry in India. Her mother is ill and the family cannot pay for the medical help she so desperately needs. The only solution is to ask the quarry owner for a loan, but this means Sita’s brother will also have to drop out of school to work in order to make ends meet and repay the loan. When Sita averts a tragic accident at the quarry, she breaks her arm and will not be able to work for a number of weeks. How will the family survive?
BRICK BY BRICK by Kym McNabney
Anika, a twelve-year-old girl from India, is devastated when her alcoholic father pawns her off to a broker like some type of animal. If her mother had survived Anika’s birth, perhaps her father would not hand her over to a man she never met. Mr. Kumar, the broker, takes her to his brick-making yard, where she is forced to live in a cramped dormitory with others. Anika befriends Prisha, a worker in Mr. Kumar’s brick company. Anika works from sunup to sundown, never forgetting her brother’s vow to one day rescue her.
INVISIBLE by Sarah Hausman
Nine-year-old Sumeet leaves his home in a small village to go to work in a carpet factory in Kathmandu, Nepal. Hoping to help his family, Sumeet enters into a life of long work hours, hunger, and bullying from an older boy, Nirav. Alone and afraid, Sumeet meets twelve-year-old Ashna, who becomes his closest friend. Together, Sumeet and Ashna find ways to survive the factory life. But when Ashna falls ill, Sumeet isn’t sure he can make it alone.
THE GHOST BAZAAR by Barbara Hawley
Small and swift eleven-year-old Anha sells fruit in an illegal hawking zone near the train station of Mumbai, India. If the police conduct a surprise raid, Anha can bundle up her tarp and flee. Anha’s desperate family depends on the wages she earns selling fruit from the hot pavement. One fateful day, the vendors’ wares are ruined during a raid. A golden ring dropped on Anha’s tarp sends her on a hasty pursuit and she gets the ride of her life. In a city ruled by corruption and greed, a young girl’s honesty wins out, changing her family’s entire future.
SEEDS OF SLAVERY by Eileen Hopkins
Ten-year-old Daksha runs home from her school and finds her mother in tears. Mama tells Daksha that her father has left them. Daksha sees her father’s empty alcohol bottle of alcohol on the floor and smells the lingering odour of droplets that have soaked into the hem of Mama’s skirt. It is as if a whirlwind of dust blowing in from the cottonseed fields has crashed through her home, destroying her hopes. Daksha must travel to a big farm where she works alongside many other children sprinkling pollen on the white flowers of the cottonseed plants – pollen that is like magical fairy dust that turns the flowers into valuable cottonseeds. It does not feel like magic to Daksha.
RIVER OF LIFE by Steve Hooley
Twelve-year-old Joran lives in Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, where pilgrims bathe in the sacred waters of the Ganges River. When both of Joran’s parents die in a boating accident, he is left with no family to care for him and totally at the mercy of the social service system. When a corrupt social service employee diverts him from the orphanage and sells him to Gari, the junkyard man, Joran is doomed to a life of welding broken auto parts. Joran descends into depression and considers throwing himself into the Ganges River, but fellow indentured servants give him hope as they use their resources and wits to devise a vehicle of escape, right beneath the nose of Gari.
SOME NIGHTS, I WAKE UP CRYING – by Patricia Anne Elford
Laila’s mother sends her, with their last coins, to the market for some fruit, lentils and rice. When a man bumps into her, her coins roll into the dust. Street boys grab them and run. Laila weeps. An apparently kind woman suggests Laila do a little job to regain the lost money, then takes her to a carpet factory. A rough man sets her to work, among rows of children, knotting, to make rugs. With only two brief breaks to eat and drink water, the children work 16-hour days. Twice, all of the children have to go down quickly through a trapdoor and huddle together silently in a horrible room under the floor, until the bosses call them back up. Laila worries. “Will I ever see Mama again? Will I be trapped here forever?
THE TORN CARPET by Caroline Sciriha
Thirteen-year-old Hari works as a carpet weaver in a factory in Nepal. Life is hard. He invents and narrates a fairy tale in order to raise the spirits of two other child workers—little Maiya and Laila, who is unwell. The fairy tale involves a cantankerous genie and Ali, who needs to repair a magic carpet. The genie and Ali fly to Nepal to find the carpet weaver who can mend the torn carpet. Fairy tale and reality mesh when an inspector calls at the factory.
An estimated 300,000 people survive as ragpickers in the dumps of Mumbai, India. More than a third are under the age of fourteen.
Meena is a nine-year-old girl who has never known any life other than squalor and scavenging to survive. Her sister was taken two years earlier and Menna’s mother has said it is best to forget her. Her sister’s memory and a wondrous story from the pages of a book occupy Meena’s thoughts on a sweltering day amidst the garbage of Mumbai.
NAMASTE, a poem by Fern G. Z. Carr
Sandeep, a young boy, is kidnapped by traffickers and forced to work in the Meghalaya coal mines. While Sandeep yearns to be faithful to the teachings of his father, lessons of thankfulness and respect, his life is in turmoil. How can Sandeep be grateful while facing hardships that no child should ever be forced to face? How can he be optimistic in his subterranean world as he is forced to crawl through rat holes fourteen hours a day? The arrival of an aid worker allows Sandeep the chance to resume his childhood and finally give himself permission to honour his father’s memory.
Thirteen-year-old Sanjeev is smart and spirited. His twelve-year-old brother Rajit is an introvert with a consuming fascination for drawing. If Sanjeev can’t motivate his brother to work, they risk falling behind in their shared job of ‘distressing’ jeans with chemicals in the basement of a Dhaka garment factory. And if they fall behind, not only will the factory owner beat them, but he may throw the brothers out on the street.
When a fire starts in the factory, Sanjeev bravely helps other factory workers escape the blaze, but when he can’t find Rajit, Sanjeev is distraught and overcome with the guilt of believing that he and his brother are responsible for the fire. It’s only when Sanjeev learns the truth about the fire and his brother’s fate that he can let go of the past and look to the future.
Abdul, a young Afghan boy of fourteen, is distraught when the Taliban closes the government-run school in his village. It’s the latest in a series of blows Abdul has suffered in his short life. His aunt was accused of promiscuity and stoned. His mother later died of heartbreak at the loss of her sister. His older brother was judged by the Taliban to be spy and executed. When Abdul is falsely accused of theft, the Taliban gives him a choice: Lose a hand and live a life of shame; or become a suicide bomber and die a glorious death. Out of this dangerous dilemma, Abdul forms a plan save himself and find the justice he craves.
FLOWERS by Hazel Bennett
Ria, a twelve-year-old girl, works in a quarry in India, where she is friendless and in permanent discomfort and unhappiness because the child slaves are overworked, underfed, and severely punished. They are powerless to rebel and fearful to escape. Finally, the children are rescued by police, who take them to a boarding school where Ria sees flowers for the first time. Elated by their beauty, she is encouraged to pick up the pieces of her life and find happiness, and gradually she learns to trust and reach out to others.
DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK by Rayne Kaa Hedberg
Dhaval is an eleven-year-old boy living in India with his mother and younger sisters in the slums. Their compromised situation takes a grim turn when his baby sister becomes ill and they can’t afford to take her to the doctor. Dhaval is faced with a difficult choice. Either he has to give up his relatively safe employment at the factory for a better-paying but hazardous job at the mine, or his sister could die without a doctor’s care. Being the eldest, Dhaval reluctantly decides to work at the mine with his friend. But what will happen once the mine starts to rumble?
FROZEN TEARS by Steve Hooley
Pramita, a ten-year-old Nepalese girl, is sold into the sex trade by her uncle, after her father dies and her mother leaves with a new husband. In her new home in New Delhi, all hope and emotion is lost. When she is transferred to a sewing factory by her owner to entertain the inspector and keep a crumbling building open, life becomes even worse as she fears for her life. Her brother Sanjay, whom she has not seen for eleven years and who is now a medical student, reenters her life with a plan for her escape. A daring attempt at switched identity and disappearance is prevented by the collapse of Pramita’s factory and a fight for her life.
MY NAME IS RAJ by Lori Duffy Foster
For years, twelve-year-old Sanjana has worked at a hotel in Mumbai, India, preparing food for rich people while her own body wastes away. She is not allowed to leave the building and she doesn’t dare try to escape. The city streets frighten her and she has nowhere to go. Still, the long hours, the cruel treatment, and the isolation were bearable until a few months ago when her best friend, a boy one year older, became sick. The cook deemed him useless and ordered him dumped on the streets. To protect herself, Sanjana vows never to love anyone again. And she keeps that vow until a small boy comes into the sweltering kitchen and into her life.
DREAMS OF ARSENAL by Edward Branley
Kunal is a thirteen-year-old boy from Chennai in South India. Sold by his parents to child-labor trafficker at age eleven, he was sent to Hyderabad, in central India, and forced to work in a tiny sweatshop, where children make cheap brass costume jewelry. His life goes from that of a farm boy to a slave, trapped in two rooms, with inadequate food, little exercise, almost no contact with the outside world. Kunal “escapes” from his situation by retreating into his mind while he works, dreaming of the soccer matches from England he listened to on the radio before he was sold into slavery. His dreams, along with listening to conversations on the street next to the sweatshop, help him cope. Kunal struggles to “fit in” with the other child-slaves, but always returns to his dreams, waiting for the chance to break away.
FUNNY DANCE by Sanjay Deshmukh
Ten-year-old Vijay’s parents work for a firecracker factory in India, while he and his younger siblings go to school. When his father is injured in the factory and unable to work for three months, the household cannot survive only on the mother’s salary, especially with the added medical expenses. She persuades Vijay to work for three months in a home-based firecracker unit. His father, meanwhile, is also diagnosed with a lung disease, which prevents him from returning to the factory. Vijay continues working, progressing in two years from cutting and pasting paper to the dangerous job of mixing chemicals to prepare gunpowder for firecrackers. His only escape lies in entertaining himself and the other children in stolen moments with his silly songs and funny dances.
RAJESH’S GARDEN by Della Barrett and Jodie Renner
Ten-year-old Anjali is eaten up by guilt for taking longer to fetch the water from far-away the stream the day her brother got thirsty and drank stagnant pond water instead. The contaminated water caused him to fall ill and die. The family lost their only son. Anjali, in a state of depression, ignores her chores and her beloved garden and drinks the pond water too. As she lies weakened and ill, a volunteer group from Canada that has adopted the village arrives to dig a well and build hand-washing stations and latrines. Two of them visit Anjali with other gifts that restore her will to live.