Constitutional Kids

Author: Lee-Anne Flack
Published by: Reach Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-620-54681-2
Reviewed by: Fiona de Villiers

Lee-Anne Flack’s job as a transparency medium for the South African parliament qualifies her to write a booklet like Constitutional Kids.

As she does in her everyday life, in this slim publication aimed at middle-school students, she aims to translate the law and its implications into realities we can all understand. Through a diverse group of characters brought to life by illustrator Zoe Morag Pentelbury, Flack focuses on elements of the Constitution of South Africa; such as its purpose and origin and rights and responsibilities. In the introduction she outlines her mission: “Our nation is going to be built on you, [sic] so you have to be very strong… that is why we are here, to tell you that because you are so special you have powers protecting you… adults call our powers ‘rights’.”

Flack makes use of appropriately simple and energetic narrative to explain the key events since 1994 that brought our Constitution into being. She then “jumps, hops and skips only to the chapters which are specifically important to [you]”. Flack’s especial focus is the Bill of Rights, set out in chapter two of the Constitution. Using real-life examples and a light, bubbly tone, she works her way through citizen’s rights to equality, human dignity; access to healthcare, food, water and social security and everything in between.

Further explication follows when Flack turns her attention to section 28 of the Constitution, which she says is “dedicated especially to [you]!” Here, her light touch would be a good way for teachers to address the serious side of issues like adoption, abuse, conflict, cultural tolerance and the quality of schools in our country and elsewhere.

Prior to her conclusion, Flack supplies a discussion of our various national public holidays and their relationship to our political past. Then, in closing, she reminds her readers that “whatever you do to others will one day happen to you, so make good choices every day”.

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Category: Book Reviews, Winter 2013

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Comments (2)

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  1. This is just absolutely amazing. Isnt it time this book should be prescribed in schools. I have read this and is definately what every child, teacher, parent and granparent should have. I sure hope the Department of Education take a good look at this. says:

    Fantastic i read the book myself! A must have by all children schools, parents and even granparents. Teach your children WELL!

  2. Ashraf says:

    I love the book very much even as adult I never knew I had such rights or maybe understand them well .but after I read the book I understand the importance of human rights . Also for kids .. I work with Lee Ann Flack and I must compliment her .she is indeed a wonderful most amazing person ever !
    And I believe the book will go country wide !

    Constitutional kids is just a start … Thank you Lee Ann lovies u ! N support u in what you attend to achieve ! KEep up the good work .

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