That’s Not Fair!

Hardcover Jacket
978-1-77138-208-3 | Apr 1, 2016 List Price:
USD $17.95, CAD $18.95

4-color • 8 1/2 x 11 • 44 pages
Grades: 2 To 6 / Ages: 7 to 11

This unique addition to the CitizenKid collection, written by by Danielle S. McLaughlin, provides an accessible exploration of the rights and freedoms of citizens in a democracy through a series of six short stories starring Mayor Moe and the councillors of a sometimes wacky city. In each story, the councillors are first presented with a problem, and the group then makes a decision to address the problem with a new law, only to discover later there were unintended consequences. There is one councillor, Bug, who objects to each decision being proposed by commenting, “That’s not fair!” — a sentiment familiar to children, who have an innate sense of justice. The topics are child-friendly: Should you be allowed to search someone’s bag because you think they could have something of yours? Does it make sense to have a law that states people can say only nice things? Conclusions for each story include an extended discussion of the rights and freedoms featured in the story, along with three questions to ponder: Why did the councillors make their decision? Did the new law achieve its purpose? Were there any unexpected results? There are no right answers given. Instead children are encouraged to look at all sides of each issue, which engages their critical thinking skills and fosters empathy for other points of view. This book would be perfect for sparking spirited discussions on civics lessons and inspiring children to become involved citizens. The bright and humorous illustrations by Dharmali Patel keep the interest level high. A Note for Parents and Teachers and definitions of the rights and freedoms covered in each story are included at the end of the book.



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Educational Resources




Guided Reading
Guided Reading Grade Level
Lexile Level



citizenship   community   politics   democracy   opinions   rights   laws   religion   individuality   freedoms   rules   privacy   social issues   right and wrong   safety   freedom of speech   censorship   freedom of the press   protest   equality   prejudice   justice   problem solving   diversity


Teaching Guide
Book Trailer

Reviews & Awards


“A solid civics and civil-liberties primer.”
Kirkus Reviews, January 2016

“Purchase as a supplement and discussion aide for curricula about rights and freedoms.”
School Library Journal, February 2016

“The complexities to civil freedoms are daunting, but with age-appropriate characters and kid-friendly situations, this makes the ambiguity of the law an exciting and accessible topic.”
Booklist, March 2016

“This could be a great resource for government studies or even for classroom or household management.”
Resource Links, October 2016


2017 Skipping Stones Honor List, Skipping Stones Magazine, Winner
2016 Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner