In the mid-1980s, Emmanuel Jal was a seven-year-old Sudanese boy, living in a small village with his parents, aunts, uncles, and siblings. But as Sudan’s civil war moved closer – with the Islamic government seizing tribal lands for water, oil, and other resources – Jal’s family moved again and again, seeking peace. Then, on one terrible day, Jal was separated from his mother, and later learned she had been killed; his father Simon rose to become a powerful commander in the Christian Sudanese Liberation Army, fighting for the freedom of Sudan.
Let’s Go Swimming On Doomsday
Forced to become a child soldier, sixteen-year-old Somali refugee Abdi, must confront his painful past.
Two children captured by a band of rebel soldiers in the Congo vow to protect an orphaned gorilla baby in this powerful, thought-provoking, and vividly compelling novel from award-winning storyteller Gill Lewis. Deep in the heart of the Congo, a baby gorilla is captured by a group of rebel soldiers. Imara and Bobo are also prisoners in the rebels’ camp. When they learn that the gorilla will be sold into captivity, they swear to return it to the wild before it’s too late. But the consequences of getting caught are too terrible to think about.
A novel based on the life of Ricky Richard Anywar, who at age fourteen was forced to fight as a soldier in the guerrilla army of notorious Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
Amina lives on the edges of Mogadishu. Her family’s house has been damaged in Somalia’s long civil war, but they continue to live there, reluctant to leave their home. Amina’s world is shattered when government forces come to arrest her father because his art has been officially censored, deemed too political. Then rebel forces kidnap Amina’s brother, forcing him to become a soldier in Somalia’s brutal ongoing war. Although her mother and grandmother are still with her, Amina feels vulnerable and abandoned. Secretly, she begins to create her own artwork in the streets and the derelict buildings to give herself a sense of hope and to let out the burden of her heart.
Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War
Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his schoolyard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia. Against the odds, Michel managed to escape and find his way back to his family, but he was never the same again. After immigrating to Canada, Michel was encouraged by a teacher to share what happened to him in order to raise awareness about child soldiers around the world, and this book is part of that effort.
War Brothers: The Graphic Novel
The unforgettable story of a child soldier. When fourteen-year-old Jacob is brutally abducted and forced to become a child soldier, he struggles to hold on to his sanity and the will to escape. Daniel Lafrance’s striking artwork and the poignant, powerful text capture the very essence of life as a child soldier. Readers will never forget the experiences of this young boy struggling to survive, unsure who to trust, afraid of succumbing to madness, and above all, desperate to get to freedom. In the end, Jacob engineers a daring escape. This graphic novel is based on the acclaimed novel of the same title, winner of a 2009 Arthur Ellis award. The author spent time in Uganda and based this story on real-life accounts of the horrors inflicted on child soldiers and their victims.
Jacob, the son of a wealthy landowner, attends a Catholic school and expects to go to university. A good boy, he believes that his father and God will keep him safe from harm.
Oteka lost his parents to AIDS and lives in one of the many displacement camps that circle the city of Gulu. Alone in the world, upon the advice of a medicine man, he sets out for an unknown future.
Jacob and Oteka’s lives become entwined as they find themselves in the clutches of the Lord’s Resistance Army, forced to obey the strange and brutal rules of Joseph Kony’s henchmen. Marching endlessly through rough terrain with little food or water, the boys form a plan to make their escape. Will hope, friendship, courage, and resilience be enough to save them?
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 2
Never Fall Down
Cambodian child soldier Arn Chorn-Pond defied the odds and used all of his courage and wits to survive the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 5, Issue 1
It is 1913, and twelve-year-old Patrick Condon wants to escape his unexciting life in Ireland. So he hatches a plan. Not wanting to wait until he is old enough to join the army, Patrick lies and says he seventeen years old, and that his name is John Condon. Assuming the identity of his older brother, Patrick enlists. John fits in quickly, though it is obvious that John is not 17, or even 16. That doesn’t matter. John is strong, fast, and a hard worker. He loves military life. This man’s world is just what John wanted. But when WWI begins in 1914, John gets all he has been looking for, and more he does not expect, as he is just a boy…