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Children's Nonfiction Homelessness & Poverty

On Our Street

Our First Talk About Poverty

by (author) Jillian Roberts & Jaime Casap

illustrated by Jane Heinrichs

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Feb 2018
Homelessness & Poverty, General, Depression & Mental Illness
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
  • Downloadable audio file

    Publish Date
    Feb 2018
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 8
  • Grade: 1 to 3
  • Reading age: 6 to 8


The World Around Us series introduces children to complex cultural, social and environmental issues that they may encounter outside their homes, in a way that is accessible. Sidebars offer further reading for older children or care providers who have bigger questions. For younger children just starting to make these observations, the simple question-and-answer format of the main text will provide a foundation of knowledge on the subject matter.
A gentle introduction to the issue of poverty, On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. Using age-appropriate language, this book addresses mental illness, homelessness and refugee status as they are connected to this issue. Insightful quotes from individuals and organizations such as UNICEF are included throughout to add further perspective on the issue. An invaluable section on how kids can help empowers readers to take what they have learned and use it to make a difference.
Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts created this series to guide parents/caregivers through conversations about difficult issues in a reassuring and hopeful manner and help children understand their expanding awareness of the world around them.

About the authors

Jillian Roberts' profile page

Jaime Casap is the Chief Educational Evangelist at Google, Inc in Phoenix, Arizona. Jaime is a first-generation American who was raised by a single mother subsisting on welfare in Hell's Kitchen, NY. Having grown up in poverty, he truly believes that access to education and technology can save lives. Working with Google and educational organizations around the world, Jaime is passionate about improving the quality of education by using technology to create powerful learning models in all classrooms, from kindergarten to college and university. Follow Jaime on Twitter @JCasap.


Jaime Casap's profile page

Jane Heinrichs' profile page


  • Commended, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People
  • Short-listed, Bolen Books Children's Book Prize
  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens starred selection
  • Commended, CCBC Favourite Books of the Year

Editorial Reviews

"This straightforward, gentle entry in the World around Us series does a good job of explaining those concepts to a young audience in terms they can understand…This is a useful starting point for conversations about an important topic."


“Offers us a world of understanding and, once again, reveals the delicacy and strength of the written word.”

CSP Book Blog

&quotAn important addition to the school or public library collection. Recommended.&quot

School Library Connection

"This timely book is a brief invitation to children to wonder and to ask questions…The layout of On Our Street is inviting: double spreads for each question, with large clear font and generous space allocated to photos and drawings…This book will be a terrific catalyst for parents and teachers to open kids' eyes to the realities of their day-to-day world and to encourage them to share personal experiences…It may never be too soon to begin to learn about these complex issues. And whenever they are ready, On Our Street, part of 'The World Around Us' series, will be a fine first step toward enhancing that understanding. Highly Recommended."

CM Magazine

“Purposeful, accessible text.”

The Horn Book Online

&quotThis is a unique and essential book where hard questions are answered in a clear straightforward way.&quot

Youth Services Book Review

"A sensitive and thoughtful approach to a difficult subject, this book offers parents and teachers an opportunity to encourage kids to think more deeply about how we can make our world a better place for everyone. "

Canadian Children's Booknews

"This is a frank yet sensitive introduction to the issues of homelessness…Colour photographs offer a humanizing and diverse representation of poverty. Realistic watercolour illustrations featuring two girls and a boy throughout the book and provide a sense of continuity."

Quill & Quire

"The writing is clear and accurate. A positive attempt at a difficult subject, this book will be most useful in situations where caring adults can help children understand and work through their feelings about the topic."

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Jillian Roberts

Other titles by Jaime Casap

Other titles by Jane Heinrichs

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