Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love, and Injustice in Sierra Leone

Kathleen Martin spent several weeks in the tiny village of Kamakwie in the interior of Sierra Leone, where she worked with a Canadian medical team. Staying in the grounds of the community hospital, Kathleen had the opportunity to meet with the people of the village. The experience was a revelation. Her mission was to talk to people about their lives, aspirations and their memories of the civil war. She also had a camera though which she developed a visual chronicle. Above all, she was struck by the children. Their resilience, their hopes, their enjoyment of the moments when they could gather and sing and play soccer.
Initially, the writer is an observer, but it is not long before the observer is passionately involved.
In this vivid and moving account of her time in Kamakwie, Kathleen Martin provides a window into a world far from the comfortable lives of most Americans – a world that through this book will become a colorful, sometimes horrifying, sometimes beautiful reality.

The Hangman in the Mirror

Françoise Laurent has never had an easy life. The only surviving child of a destitute washerwoman and wayward soldier, she must rely only on herself to get by. When her parents die suddenly from the smallpox ravishing New France, Françoise sees it as a chance to escape the life she thought she was trapped in.

Seizing her newfound opportunity, Françoise takes a job as an aide to the wife of a wealthy fur trader. The poverty-ridden world she knew transforms into a strange new world full of privilege and fine things — and of never having to beg for food. But Françoise’s relationships with the other servants in Madame Pommereau’s house are tenuous, and Madame Pommereau isn’t an easy woman to work for. When Françoise is caught stealing a pair of her mistress’s beautiful gloves, she faces a future even worse than she could have imagined: thrown in jail, she is sentenced to death by hanging. Once again, Françoise is left to her own devices to survive . . . Is she cunning enough to convince the prisoner in the cell beside her to become the hangman and marry her, which, by law, is the only thing that could save her life?

Nepantla: Essays from the Land in the Middle

As a Latina educator, poet, mother, lecturer, and native of El Paso, Texas, Pat Mora is a denizen of nepantla—a Nahuatl word meaning “the land in the middle.” In her first collection of essays, Mora negotiates the middle land’s many terrains exploring the personal issues and political responsibilities she faces as a woman of color in the United States. She explores both the preservation of her own Mexican American culture and her encounters with other cultures.

 

 

 

Changes in Latitudes

Sixteen-year-old Travis is looking for a good time. A vacation in Mexico with his mother, sister, and little brother might cramp his style, but he’s willing to take that risk for a chance to cruise the beaches.Travis soon discovers that even with his headphones and shades, he can’t completely cut himself off from his family’s problems. He begins to understand why his father didn’t come with them: His mother is contemplating a divorce. Meanwhile his younger brother, Teddy, becomes increasingly obsessed with protecting some endangered sea turtles near the resort. In spite of himself, Travis is drawn into Teddy’s efforts to save the turtles. But it takes a devastating tragedy beyond his imagining to shake Travis out of his cynicism — a tragedy that will change his family forever.

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope

We are the young people, We will not be broken! For almost fifty years, apartheid forced the young people of South Africa to live apart as Blacks, Whites, Indians, and “Coloreds.” This unique and dramatic collection of stories—by native South African and Carnegie Medalist Beverley Naidoo—is about young people’s choices in a beautiful country made ugly by injustice. Each story is set in a different decade during the turbulent years from 1948 to 2000, and portrays powerful fictional characters who are caught up in very real and often disturbing events.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Johanna’s grandfather founded the largest clothing store in town and built up his wealth with his own hands–at least that’s the family legend. But when Johanna travels to Israel for a class project, she finds out that the family of Meta Levin originally owned the store. She learns that her grandfather legally acquired the company during the Nazi regime according to the anti-Semitic laws of the Third Reich. Johanna is worried: her family’s wealth is obviously founded on injustice. Should she keep silent, or should she wake the sleeping dogs?