- Megan Bingham
Children from all around the world go to school. Whether it's on a school bus, by foot, train, car, motorcycle, or even a zip line, children face interesting journeys to reach their educational destinations. In Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students From Around the World, authors Baptiste and Miranda Paul have devised 13 fictional scenarios, based on children's journeys to school.
Although many children in America attend school on a bus, walking, or getting a ride from a parent, some experience quite a different trek. In Angle Inlet, Minnesota, on the U.S.-Canadian border, many children take a toboggan sled during the cold winter months. Some even take a snowmobile! In Ustupu, Guna Yala, (the Sans Blas Islands in Panama), children travel by boat to get to the mainland, which may take six or more hours. In El Alto and La Paz, Bolivia, an electric-powered teleférico, or cable car, operates at 13,000 feet above sea level, connecting the mountainous cities with the mainland. Over 3,000 students ride the cable car every day to get to school!
The students in Liangshan Prefecture village in Sichuan Province, China, have a unique way of getting to school, as well as a long one. Using ladders installed on mountainsides, students climb to school. The journey is tiring, but the school has a place for the students to sleep, which allows a two-week break between journeys. In Siddhithumka, Nepal, above the Trisiuli River, a wire bridge with a carriage crosses the rampant rapids below.
Several years ago, photos and videos of children making dangerous treks to school become popular on the Internet. Due to the uproar of concern for the children, in many areas, local governments and aid groups have repaired or rebuilt new infrastructure for these children who once faced dangerous obstacles on their journey. In Karanganyar, Indonesia, many children used to walk or ride bikes over dangerous bridges to reach school. But in March 2017, a wider, paved bridge was built next to the old one to ensure safety. In Los Pinos, Colombia, children once zoomed down a zip line across a 1,300-foot-high gorge to get to school on the other side! In 2015, they moved the school on their side of the canyon.
With beautiful and colorful illustrations by Isabel Munoz, Adventures to School: Real-Life Journeys of Students From Around the World is a wonderful book that helps explain how important education is and the extremes that some will take to get there. No matter how students may get to school, all of them experience their own journeys!