Reading it with a middle school service club at Otterbein. Halfway through. I know it's going to get worse before it gets better. I feel both very luc...moreReading it with a middle school service club at Otterbein. Halfway through. I know it's going to get worse before it gets better. I feel both very lucky and very whiny about my own life.
Finally finished it; this one took a while. One thing I kept doing while reading was turning the book over to look at the author's picture on the back, in which he is smiling so joyously. He is the exact same age as me.
The way nature and the environment represented/reflected emotion in this book was amazing to me. I found myself thinking a lot about any book I had read that took place in Africa, from "Heart of Darkness" to "The Poisonwood Bible" to "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency." Because I've never been there, my mental image is shaped solely by these books.
I will also remember how many times rap music saved Ishmael; the lietenant who quoted Shakespeare; the psychological torture that results from having no aim in life; and the actions of the boys who were first rescued and brought to Benin House.
Favorite quotes **possible spoilers**:
"'We must strive to be like the moon.' ...I remember asking my grandmother what the old man meant. She explained that the adage served to remind people to always be on their best behavior and to be good to others. She said that people complain when there is too much sun and it gets unbearably hot, and also when it rains too much or when it is cold. But, she said, no one grumbles when the moon shines. Everyone becomes happy and appreciates the moon in their own special way. Children watch their shadows and play in its light, people gather at the square to tell stories and dance through the night. A lot of happy things happen when the moon shines. These are some of the reasons why we should want to be like the moon."
"'Every time people come at us with the intention of killing us, I close my eyes and wait for death. Even though I am still alive, I feel like each time I accept death, part of me dies. Very soon I will completely die and all that will be left is my empty body walking with you. It will be quieter than I am.'"
"The war memories had formed a barrier that I had to break in order to think about any moment in my life before the war."
"I would always tell people that I believe children have the resilience to outlive their sufferings, if given a chance."
"...I didn't know what to do in my happy state. I was still hesitant to let myself go, because I still believed in the fragility of happiness."
"Gradually I adjusted to being around people who were happy all the time."
"But on the first day of school in Freetown, all the students sat apart from us, as if Mohamed and I were going to snap any minute and kill someone. Somehow they had learned that we had been child soldiers. We had not only lost our childhood in the war but our lives had been tainted by the same experiences that still caused us great pain and sadness." (less)
Great collection of easy crafts -- written for kids (nice large font, few steps, and easy-to-understand line illustrations), but conveniently organize...moreGreat collection of easy crafts -- written for kids (nice large font, few steps, and easy-to-understand line illustrations), but conveniently organized by material (cardboard, popsicle sticks, film canisters, etc.) if you are a crafter or, um, a librarian who has a lot of such things laying around the place.
I only wish it was printed on better paper! Why newsprint?!
I've never met a book I didn't like from Kids Can Press.(less)