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When Invisible Children Sing
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When Invisible Children Sing

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  216 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Expecting to treat some mildly ill children from the streets of Bolivia on a quick “service trip,” an idealistic young medical student gets more than he bargained for when he takes a year off from Harvard Medical School to work at an orphanage in La Paz. As he comes to know the children, and sees how they live, Chi Huang is drawn deeper and deeper into their complex and ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published September 20th 2006 by SaltRiver (first published September 6th 2006)
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Natalie Vellacott
Apr 24, 2016 Natalie Vellacott rated it it was ok
Shelves: missions
I really wanted to like this book and was quite excited about reading it when I read the cover. I thought it might be similar to my own experiences working with street children in the Philippines. In that respect there were a lot of similarities and a lot of shared mistakes and learning from them in the same way.

The author gets off to a good start talking a bit about himself and his Christian faith. He doesn't go far enough really but at least he mentions that he is a Christian and a bit about
Sep 17, 2011 Meaghan rated it it was amazing
Chi Cheng Huang certainly knows how to write. When he describes the street children he tried to help in Bolivia, it feels like you're right there alongside him. The problems the street kids are facing are uncomfortably similar to the problems American foster children have. Dr. Huang wanted to save everyone he met and he learned, time and time again, that it doesn't work like that. But you can save a few people, one at a time.

Other points of interest: He does describe his childhood and his sister
Norma Jesus
Jul 25, 2008 Norma Jesus rated it really liked it
"All God’s children are created equal. But who really lives as if they believe this? One first world baby stuck at the bottom of a well generates more heartfelt anxiety than the 100 million children trapped on the streets of the developing world ever will.” pg. 232

This heart-wrenching first hand account of street children in Bolivia is a challenge to the reader's thinking about God, His love, and what love in Christ's name looks like.
Jan 04, 2014 Tara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ashley allman
Recommended to Tara by: alyssa wolfe
You’ll need a box of Kleenex by your side while reading this book, it’s heart wrenching. Dr. Huang introduces readers to the life of street children living in Bolivia without holding anything back. His honest portrayal of the harsh realities of their lives is a call to action for anyone claiming to follow Christ. He shares the story of several children, giving readers an up close and personal perspective of what they face everyday.

“Every month or two, they round up a bunch of street kids to tak
Jan 04, 2015 Kendra rated it really liked it
Not sure if saying that I liked this book is appropriate - it is not a pleasant read, but it is honest and truthful about the realities of life for street children in Bolivia. And that is why I like it. I read it several months after the death of our baby boy Elijah. This author says that Christmas Day is a hard time for him, years after the death of his own sister. (she died suddenly on that morning) I felt that I could identify with him in this - as we found out that we were pregnant with ...more
Apr 11, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
The topic of this book is terribly hard, but Chi Cheng Huang has very important stories to tell. As I read through the hard stuff my thoughts went often to the 2 beautiful Bolivian girls we sponsor through Compassion International. I am so thankful for the work that Dr. Chi and Compassion are doing in Bolivia on behalf of impoverished children. Thankful also to get to be a part in it by sponsoring Laura and Angelica, and writing them letters.

If you sponsor children, advocate for children, I enco
Apr 19, 2014 Ker rated it liked it
Shelves: true-stories
It's about as sad of a book as you might think from reading the jacket. I wish no one had to live on the street. I believe Bolivia is the poorest country in all of Central and South America, and this focuses on a few children on the streets of La Paz. I'm grateful for the author's efforts to help these children.
Apr 28, 2011 Deana rated it it was amazing
This book was well written, and awe inspiring. The book is hard to read, in that it really paints the picture of the street children. It opened my eyes to a whole new world, and I will be forever grateful to Dr Huang for writing it.
I gave it 5 stars because I could not put it down, and am planning on reading it again.
Dec 03, 2013 Annie rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking and inspiring for me, this memoir is about Huang's year-long (and now, lifelong) journey to Bolivia to treat street children in La Paz. He casts an unblinking yet compassionate eye at the struggles and triumphs of these forgotten children, telling the individual stories of several of the children he encounters. 4 1/2 to 5 stars. Unforgettable and will influence my future work.
Jul 28, 2007 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
This book was a fairly quick read, but it was very emotional. It's subtitle really describes it well: "An idealistic young doctor, 5 street kids and their dangerous hope." I cried at about 3 differnt points, but if you ever want to have more hope in humanity then you should read this. It's quite inspirational, but be warned, it is not sugar coated at all.
Feb 04, 2012 Charlotte rated it really liked it
Deals with Dr. Chi's experiences while living in Bolivia. He meets the street children each night and treats them for their medical problems. He gets to know some of them very well. They share their personal stories with him about how they came to live on the streets. Some of the stories in this book will break your heart. Dr. Chi asks us to "see" his invisible children.
Sep 08, 2010 Susanna rated it it was amazing
This was a phenomenal book. Very well-written. TOUGH to process - it made my brain hurt to try and absorb the reality of life for so many children who live on the streets. It's the kind of book I try to read regularly to remind me that the world is much bigger than my own little circle. There are huge needs out there and this book is very eye-opening. I highly recommend it.
Mar 16, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
It is good to know that sorrows that go on in the world, but it is hard for me to read. I gave this book a three because it was so disturbing and dark. I don't regret reading it. It made me want to help. It made me so grateful for my life and for the life my children have, but it was really hard to read.
Nov 30, 2016 OGrady rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book, and it is so beautiful and heartbreaking. Dr. Chi Huang writes about the poverty children face in Bolivia with complete candidness, and I love how he shows his raw self and his realistic reactions, thoughts, and feelings to the pain surrounding him.
Note: the organization is now called Kaya Children International.
MariAn Nyce
Apr 24, 2014 MariAn Nyce rated it really liked it
The author has a passion for street children, and during his medical studies, asks for a year sabbatical to go to Bolivia. He connects with an orphanage as their doctor, but then goes to the streets to both treat the kids, and talk to them about options they have to get off the streets. He uses music, futbol, and constancy to gain their trust.
Heather Stroh
Jul 30, 2011 Heather Stroh rated it it was amazing
A captivating yet heart-wrenching account of the lives of homeless children on the streets and a physician with a huge heart. It could have been twice as long and I would have kept right on reading!!!
Mar 31, 2008 Becks rated it really liked it
The travels of soon-to-be doctor to Bolivia. He works with the street children, befriending them, learning their pain and struggles.
It's interwoven with his own story. A beautiful, and, at times, painful read about the reality of poverty and abuse among these neglected children.
Ruth Lemont
Jul 11, 2015 Ruth Lemont rated it it was amazing
A very gripping memoir of a young american doctor who goes to Bolivia to work with street children. Made me cry and grew my compassion, so I absolutely recommend. At times heartbreaking though, and don't expect to come away from this read without being challenged or moved to some sort of action!
May 21, 2012 Owen rated it liked it
Chi Huang travels to Bolivia to work with children living on the street during a break from medical school. This book is a heartbreaking account of these children. A worthwhile read to learn more about a forgotten people group, I just wish I enjoyed the style of writing more.
Apr 10, 2012 Jessica rated it really liked it
I am in awe of people like Dr Chi--sacrificing everything to bring medical care to the street children of Bolivia. It was awful to learn of the lives of these kids, but I'm glad I read this book. I finished grateful and inspired.
Marnae Powell
Apr 04, 2007 Marnae Powell rated it really liked it
This book is written by a medical student who travels to Bolivia to help the street children. It was good, but sobering in many regards. It re-affirms your belief in good people who are trying to make a difference.
Terri Mcgarry
Feb 28, 2013 Terri Mcgarry rated it it was amazing
What an amazing book. The author can speak from a place of authenticity, as he walked alongside these street children. He did not fear embracing their pain or entering into their suffering. I hope someday to help these children in meaningful ways.
Aug 05, 2008 Rick rated it liked it
Great story about trying to help when sometimes people don't want help. Affirming to the dignity of humankind.
Dec 20, 2008 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This book was really sad to read what these kids go through but very interesting to see how they stick together and help each other out and become each others family when they have nobody else.
Jul 05, 2011 Gayle rated it it was amazing
This is a book we all should read as it shows the life of street kids in other countries. I would read again and again.
Jun 15, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing
Love this book! What an inspiration!! My heart hurts for these kids and all the kids that need love in their lives.
Dec 16, 2007 Julie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: haveread, top-choices
amazing! one of the best books i've read in a while - similar in ways to 'in search of respect' interesting insights to homelessness particularly pertaining to children
Dec 03, 2014 Mindy added it
Very good book; well written, thought provoking and makes the street children become real people. Dr. Huang is a good writer and can describe the life of the street children quite well.
Leslee Jaeger
Jul 27, 2012 Leslee Jaeger rated it liked it
Not great writing, but was interesting after just having traveled to Bolivia and working in a children's home.
Jun 22, 2008 Sandi rated it really liked it
A book about a third-year medical student from Harvard who spends several months working with street children in Bolivia. From a Christian perspective.
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