Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, himself a refugee, brings together a host of prominent refugee writers from around the world to explore and illuminate their experiences. Poignant and insightful, this collection of essays reveals moments of uncertainty, resilience int he face of trauma, and a reimagining of identity. The Displaced is a powerful look at what it means to be forced to leave home and find a place of refuge. — Adapted from book jacket.
When Zezé grows up, he wants to be a poet in a bow tie. For now the precocious young boy entertains himself by playing clever pranks on the residents of his Rio de Janeiro neighborhood, stunts for which his parents and siblings punish him severely. Lately, with his father out of work, the beatings have become harsher. Zezé’s only solace comes from his time at school, his hours secretly spent singing with a street musician, and the refuge he finds with his precious magical orange tree. When Zezé finally makes a real friend, his life begins to change, opening him up to human tenderness but also wrenching sorrow. Never out of print in Brazil since it was first published in 1968, My Sweet Orange Tree, inspired by the author’s own childhood, has been translated into many languages and has won the hearts of millions of young readers across the globe.
In this adaptation for middle graders based on her bestselling adult memoir, My Beloved World, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor’s extraordinary life inspires. Her achievement serves as a true testament to the fact that no matter the obstacles, dreams can come true. Includes an 8-page photo insert. Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States, was a young girl when she dared to dream big. Her dream? To become a lawyer and a judge. As Justice Sotomayor explains, “When I was a child my family was poor and we knew no lawyers or judges and none lived in our neighborhood. I knew nothing about the Supreme Court and how much its work in reinterpreting the Constitution and the laws of the United States affected peoples’ lives. You cannot dream of becoming something you don’t even know about. That has been the most important lesson of my life. You have to learn to dream big dreams. Sonia did not let the hardships of her background–which included growing up in the rough housing projects of New York City’s South Bronx, dealing with juvenile diabetes, coping with parents who argued and fought personal demons, and worrying about money–stand in her way. Always, she believed in herself. Her determination, along with guidance from generous mentors and the unwavering love of her extended Puerto Rican family, propelled her ever forward.
The Second World War was the most devastating war in history, resulting in up to eighty million deaths and causing the map of the world to be redrawn. Now, more than seventy years after peace was declared, a variety of people who lived through the war share their memories with children so that their experiences will never be forgotten. In this compelling collection, pilots, evacuees, resistance fighters, and navy sailors, as well as survivors of the Holocaust, prisoners-of-war camps, and the Hiroshima bombing, tell their stories, passing on their personal recollections of historical events to a new generation. The stories in Voices from the Second World War were collected by children from all over the world who met with people who wanted to share experiences from the war. These stories, which take place from the outbreak of war to the Hiroshima bombing, capture the spirit and courage of a generation of people affected by World War II.
After the end of the Vietnam War, Van wakes up one morning to find that her mother, sisters, and brother are gone. They have escaped the new communist regime that has taken over Ho Chi Minh City for freedom in the West. Van is too young–and her grandmother too old–for such a dangerous journey by boat, so the two have been left behind. Once settled in North America, her parents will be able to sponser them, and Van and her grandmother will fly away to safety. But in the meantime, Van is forced ot work hard to satisfy her aunt and uncle, who treat her like an unwelcome guest. And at school she must learn that calling attention to herself is a mistake, especially when the bully who has been tormenting her turns out to be the son of a military policeman.
When seven-year-old Bana Alabed took to Twitter to describe the horrors she and her family were experiencing in war-torn Syria, her heartrending messages touched the world and gave a voice to millions of innocent children. Bana’s happy childhood was abruptly upended by civil war when she was only three years old. Over the next four years, she knew nothing but bombing, destruction, and fear. Her harrowing ordeal culminated in a brutal siege where she, her parents, and two younger brothers were trapped in Aleppo, with little access to food, water, medicine, or other necessities. Facing death as bombs relentlessly fell around them—one of which completely destroyed their home—Bana and her family embarked on a perilous escape to Turkey. In Bana’s own words, and featuring short, affecting chapters by her mother, Fatemah, Dear World is not just a gripping account of a family endangered by war; it offers a uniquely intimate, child’s perspective on one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history. Bana has lost her best friend, her school, her home, and her homeland. But she has not lost her hope—for herself and for other children around the world who are victims and refugees of war and deserve better lives. Dear World is a powerful reminder of the resilience of the human spirit, the unconquerable courage of a child, and the abiding power of hope. It is a story that will leave you changed.
Featured in Volume X, Issue 4 of WOW Review.
Behind Closed Doors features written testimonials from thirty-two individuals who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The school was one of many infamous residential schools that operated from 1893 to 1979. The storytellers remember and share with us their stolen time at the school; many stories are told through courageous tears.
Offers a multifaceted view of the Holocaust, from a child’s bewilderment at having to wear a star and later go into hiding, to the agony of the camps themselves.
Features seven true stories of brave boys and girls who lived through the Holocaust. Their compelling accounts are based on exclusive, personal interviews with the survivors. Using real names, dates and places, these stories are factual versions of their recollections.
Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they knew. All that changed the night the government-armed Murahiliin began attacking their villages. Amid the chaos, screams, conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Benjamin fled into the dark night. Two years later, Alepho, age seven, was forced to do the same. Across the Southern Sudan, over the next five years, thousands of other boys did likewise, joining this stream of child refugees that became known as the Lost Boys. Their journey would take them over one thousand miles across a war-ravaged country, through landmine-sown paths, crocodile-infested waters, and grotesque extremes of hunger, thirst, and disease. The refugee camps they eventually filtered through offered little respite from the brutality they were fleeing. In They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, Alepho, Benson, and Benjamin, by turn, recount their experiences along this unthinkable journey. They vividly recall the family, friends, and tribal world they left far behind them and their desperate efforts to keep track of one another. This is a captivating memoir of Sudan and a powerful portrait of war as seen through the eyes of children. And it is, in the end, an inspiring and unforgettable tribute to the tenacity of even the youngest human spirits.