The Way to School

The Way to School


By Rosemary McCarney and Plan International


When the daily trip to school can't be taken for granted

Minimal text and stunning photographs from around the world describe the remarkable, and often dangerous, journeys children make every day on their way to and from school. No simple school bus picks them up each day, but rather children travel through disaster zones, cross rapids, climb mountains, and maneuver on ziplines daily to get to the classroom. Some of them even carry their desks!

In this beautiful picture book for young readers, every image and spread speaks to the desire for an education and the physical commitment the children make each day as they journey to school.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Plan Canada's Because I am a Girl Fund.

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About the Author

Rosemary McCarney is Canada's Ambassador to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva. She was previously president and CEO of Toronto-based Plan Canada, one of the largest international development agencies in the country, where she spearheaded the Because I Am a Girl movement. She is the author of the internationally best-selling Every Day is Malala Day, Because I Am a Girl: I Can Change the World and the Rosie the Red series. Rosemary lives in Toronto with her family.

About the Author

Founded in 1937, Plan International is one of the world’s oldest and largest international charities, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children.

Product Information

  • Release: September 1, 2015

  • 18.95 Hardcover with Jacket

  • 32 Pages

  • 8.5 x 11

  • Picture Book

  • Ages 6-9 / Grades 1-3

  • Lexile: 480L Guided Reading: N

  • ISBN: 9781927583784


  • Character Education
    > Empathy

  • History & Social Studies
    > Global Cultures

Awards for The Way to School

  • Selected as one of Shelf Awareness' 2015 Best Books of the Year - Children's/YA

  • Selected as an Ontario Library Association 2015 Best Bets - Junior Nonfiction

Praise for The Way to School

"[The Way to School] is both a fascinating look at school around the world and a very subtle message to readers to appreciate what they have." - Kirkus Reviews

"Spare text and beautiful images powerfully and accessibly demonstrate how environmental hazards, rough terrains, and poverty impede children from reaching their destination....An excellent starting point to discuss diversity and culture in the primary grades." - School Library Journal

"Not only does this beautiful book deserve a place in every school library, but I’d recommend it for every home library as well — and encourage parents to share it with their school-age offspring." - The Montreal Gazette

"For a children’s story with few words, it’s one of the most powerful books I have read in a while." - Inside Toronto

"This is a magnificent book for teachers to use in the classroom at the start of a new school year... this book belongs in every school library." - Children's Book Heal

"In this series of characterful, evocative photographs from around the world, McCarney illustrates the lengths and effort some kids put into their daily journeys. And the adventure and peril just makes clear what’s at the heart of their journeys — the determination and value they have for their own education. Inspiration, solidarity, even a little envy — a picture book to inspire all three." - The Toronto Star

"Buoyant and beautiful, The Way to School is a deeply powerful illustration of the importance of education and the universal drive to learn." - Shelf Awareness 

"Though its message is subtle, The Way to School celebrates schools and the importance of education and is well worthy of purchase. Highly Recommended." - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Although this book is accessible to young readers, it would also make a wonderful read aloud for a primary class at the beginning of the school year." - Canadian Teacher Magazine

"Striking color photographs illustrate this vivid reminder that everyday life challenges some young people much more than others, and that schooling is so valuable that it makes even the most difficult journeys worthwhile! Highly recommended, especially for public and early grade school library picture book collections." - Midwest Book Review

"While the United States is no stranger to Mother Nature’s fury, The Way to School sheds light on the obstacle course paths some students tackle when they leave home.... The one thing the students in this book all have in common is that they're happy to be at school, once they arrive." - The Charlotte Observer

" [The Way to School] is able to show that different communities have very distinct experiences when going to school and a number of them not too pleasant... Despite all these differences the book shows how much children love being in school. This is a book recommended for public libraries and children's rooms everywhere." - The Deakin Review of Children's Literature

" [The Way To School]’s captivating photography of the difficulty of these journeys could inspire students to appreciate and value their own education." - EFTO Voice

"The Way to School may spark curiosity and discussion in young learners who may have never considered what the idea of valuing one's education looks like on the other side of the globe." - Kutztown University Book Review

"With its gorgeous full-sized color photographs and sparse text, this eye-opening story can be very appealing to young readers, and very appropriate, too. Any child studying in a developed country will count his or her blessings after seeing how some young children must travel to school." - Catholic Library World