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.

Cartwheeling In Thunderstorms

Living half-wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey, and her best friend, every day is beautiful. But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. Lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of vicious schoolgirls. Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?

See the review at WOW Review, Volume VII, Issue 3

The Flute

In this beautiful picturebook written by Governor General’s Award-winning author Rachna Gilmore and illustrated by India’s most renowned illustrator, Pulak Biswas, a little girl nearly drowns when a swollen river overflows its banks. Tragically, her beloved mother and father are swept away in the flood. Raised by a cruel and uncaring aunt and uncle, the little girl finds solace in her mother’s magic flute. The Flute is an enchanting tale of the power of hope and the resilience of the human spirit.

War Brothers

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

Soldier Bear

Based on a real series of events that happened during World War II, Soldier Bear tells the story of an orphaned bear cub adopted by a group of Polish soldiers in Iran. The soldiers raise the bear and eventually enlist him as a soldier to ensure that he stays with the company. He travels with them from Iran to Italy, and then on to Scotland. Voytek?’s mischief gets him into trouble along with way, but he also provides some unexpected encouragement for the soldiers amidst the reality of war: Voytek learns to carry bombs for the company, saves the camp from a spy, and keeps them constantly entertained with his antics.

Nowhere Girl

Luchi Ann only knows a few things about herself: she was born in a prison in Thailand. Her American mother was an inmate there. And now that her mother has died, Luchi must leave the only place she’s ever known and set out into the world. Neither at home as a Thai, because of her fair skin and blond hair, nor as a foreigner, because of her knowledge of Thai life and traditions, Luchi feels as though she belongs nowhere. But as she embarks on an amazing adventure-a journey spanning continents and customs, harrowing danger and exhilarating experiences-she will find the family, and the home, she’s always dreamed of. Weaving intricate elements of traditional Thailand into a modern-day fairy tale unique unto itself, Nowhere Girl is a beautifully rendered story of courage, resilience, and finding the one place where you truly belong.