The Russian Federation has been an independent country since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. For Russian teenagers, this change has presented many opportunities. At school, teens are learning about a history that the communist government tried to hide. In their free time, they are learning to express themselves in ways their parents were not allowed. Teens in Russia is part of Global Connections, a series that uncovers the challenges, pastimes, and customs of teens around the world.
Award-winning photographer Rafal Gerszak spent a year embedded with the American military in Afghanistan, where he used his camera to document everyday life in the war-torn country. While there, he developed a deep affection for the land and its people, and he later returned on his own. Despite the dangers around him, he continued taking photos, exposing the plight of that besieged country.
Framed by journal entries that relate his experiences on two levels — as a foreigner looking for a deeper connection to a country that has stirred him and as a journalist looking for another side to the story — Beyond Bullets addresses the volatile situation in Afghanistan with sensitivity and profound insight. Through Gerszak’s lens, readers can see the shattered aftermath of military attacks and dismal hospitals and refugee camps, but they can also experience the vibrant activity of life in the markets, at home and on the Muslim day of rest.
In China in the 1940s, ten-year-old Ying sells her handmade bamboo chicken fences to make money to attend a school camping trip, but no one understands why she instead uses her earnings to buy a dead hen from the grandmother of a drowned classmate.
The children in Madagascar rejoice in life’s natural gifts–singing, working in the fields, helping their parents, and playing with lizards. Divided into three sections: “We Live!”, “We Grow!” and “We Feel!”,Torina’s World: A Child’s Life in Madagascar offers a glimpse into daily life in a Malagasy village and encourages children in Western culturesw to examine and reflect on life in a developing country.Ten years ago, author and photographer Joni Kabana spent a month in Madagascar. Her intention was to bring back images for her children showing how other children live. Torina, an eight-year-old Malagasy girl, acted as Joni’s guide into this world. Back home, Joni’s nine-year-old son, Benjamin Opsahl, helped edit the images and added simple, yet profound text that will engage readers across the world.Torina is now eighteen. She still lives in a small hut with her mother, father and six brothers. Her desire to further her education has been hindered by a lack of financial resources, thus a portion ofthe proceeds from book sales will provide funding for her education as well as othr educational activiities in Madagascar. Celebrate diversity with Torina’s World, and join with readers young and old in embracing a multi-cultural perspective.To learn more about Torina, her life in Madagascar, and fundraising efforts visit www.torinasworld.com
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.
This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived.In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.