On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story’s events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos. This book can serve as a pertinent tool for adults discussing global history and race relations with children. Its graphic novel style and mixed media art portray the vibrancy and grit of Hector’s daily life and untimely death. Heartbreaking yet relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on events that helped lead to the end of apartheid.
Some view the systematic killing, rape, and destruction of homes in Darfur as a grave humanitarian crisis. For others, it’s a clear example of the ultimate crime against humanity — genocide. Who is right? What is genocide? Who are the endangered human beings in today’s world? What is the impact on humanity of wiping out entire groups of people? This thoughtful book helps young readers understand these and other difficult questions. Providing an overview of the history of genocide worldwide, the book explores the paradox that while a person who murders another person can be tried and even executed for the crime, a person who murders hundreds or thousands of people usually goes free. Using case studies of acts of genocide throughout history, the book points out the unique character of each while at the same time establishing important links between them. Most importantly, the book answers the question, What can be done to prevent genocide from happening in the future?
Set in both the wilds and slums of Kenya, a powerful story about a brother and sister’s brave journey to find a place to call home. 13-year-old Muchoki and his younger sister, Jata, can barely recognize what’s become of their lives. Only weeks ago they lived in a bustling Kenyan village, going to school, playing soccer with friends, and helping at their parents’ store. But sudden political violence has killed their father and destroyed their home. Now, Muchoki, Jata, and their ailing mother live in a tent in an overcrowded refugee camp. By day, they try to fend off hunger and boredom. By night, their fears about the future are harder to keep at bay. Driven by both hope and desperation, Muchoki and Jata set off on what seems like an impossible journey: to walk hundreds of kilometers to find their last remaining family.
The sequel to Among the Volcanoes portrays the intellectual and political transformation of a young Mayan woman who leaves her Guatemalan village to attend a special program for teachers.
These books begin with historical overviews of Haiti, including the reasons for recent political unrest. The first-person narratives of young refugees follow. All of the teens tell why they left their native countries, how they made their journeys, their experiences and difficulties in North America, and if they plan to return to their homelands. The introductions state that the young people were interviewed; it is unclear exactly when these conversations took place. It seems in Haiti as if they occurred prior to the reinstatement of President Aristide.