November 18, 2013

Make sense of conflict

Why Do We Fight? Conflict, War, and Peace
by Niki Walker

Battles, protests, standoffs, strikes. We hear about them all the time. On the surface, a battle and a protest don't seem to have much in common, but both are conflicts. Whether they're happening on the news, in the home, or at school, conflicts are part of life. But what turns a conflict into a war? 

Niki Walker does an excellent job of breaking down the basics of conflict in concise, unbiased prose that is easy for children to understand. She examines the reasons why we fight - for land, power, resources, equality, security - and what happens when these conflicts can't be resolved. She ends with a look at the peace process, and how factors like information sources, perspective, and propaganda can affect outcomes.

Walker's book deserves a place in every school or home library. It not only informs readers, it gives them the tools to critically evaluate global conflicts and world events, and encourages them to keep an open mind. There may be no way to avoid conflict, but respecting others' beliefs may ensure a lasting peace.

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