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Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children
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Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda's Children

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  450 ratings  ·  64 reviews
For several decades a brutal army of rebels has been raiding villages in northern Uganda, kidnapping children and turning them into soldiers or wives of commanders. More than 30,000 children have been abducted over the last twenty years and forced to commit unspeakable crimes.
Grace Akallo was one of these. Her story, which is the story of many Ugandan children, recounts h
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Chosen Books
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Jun 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book had such potential, but failed. The religious diatribe dispersed throughout the historical and cultural background of this book about the struggles in Uganda really dishonors the courage and persistence displayed by the people who live it.
May 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: uganda
This was written jointly by an Islamophobic "christian" and a young woman who was kidnapped by the LRA (one of the "Aboke girls"). Occasionally the writing is engaging, but the frequent side-trips to simplistic Islam (bad) vs Christian (good) excuses for all that plagues northern Uganda are irritating.
Frequently statements are made with absolutely no reference given: "the mortality rates in northern Uganda are double those for displaced person camps for the Darfurians of western Sudan".
i did, h
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
"Girl Soldier" was a very intriguing book that helped me answer some of the questions I had about the wars in Africa and what is going on in there. Grace Akallo's story was an eye opener for me of the horrific trauma going on in places like Africa, without much of the world's knowledge. I never knew much of what was happening in Africa before reading this book, I couldn't understand also why the news barely ever tells of what is happening in the other side of the world.

I felt Grace's pain in th
Jul 28, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Northern Uganda conflict
Swapping chapters Grace Akallo describes her horrific story of being abducted as a child by the Lord's Resistance Army lead by Joseph Kony in Northern Uganda while Faith McDonnell gives a historical account of this history along with Christian commentary.
I was hoping for more of an emphasis on Grace's story but there seemed to be more pages from Faith with an over-active Christian vocabulary and commentary.
Kristen Wilk
Aug 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Every other chapter was easy/interesting to read as the story of a child torn from her home and made into a soldier unfolded. The opposite chapters told the history of the Ugandan war and were pretty dry. About half-way through it became easier to read and more enjoyable. I'm glad I stuck with it, but I enjoyed reading "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" more. ...more
Dec 31, 2007 rated it liked it
I almost stopped reading this book when I started it: I found its blatantly "hallelujiah" style distracting at best. But eventually I got into it and learned a lot about the country I recently lived in for nearly 4 months this past summer. It's written by two authors: a former LRA child soldier and an American humanitarian/activist who gives a historical perspective throughout. Both authors don't write terribly well - referencing things of interest without explaining them, skipping large portion ...more
Jan 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
not well researched or informative. it is mostly a christian story with a story of a child soldier on the side (which isn't the point). the real aim of the book appears to be to promote religion rather than telling the story of this girl. I found this disappointing as i'm sure she has an incredible story to tell us all. ...more
Lynn Dove
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I suppose timing is everything right now, and I downloaded this book on Kindle when it was free quite a while ago, but did not start reading it until this week.

With the viral explosion of Kony 2012 on YouTube, and the upcoming world-wide event that will try to bring to light the decades old atrocities that this man has perpetrated on the children (the invisible children) of Uganda, it is timely I would read this book.

When a book is written by two authors (as this one is), it is oftentimes diffic
Ian King
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
This is a very powerful story of the wickedness of Men (Joseph Kony to be precise.)
Faith is the girl who has written this account of the girl soldier named Grace.
Grace has been a child bride for Joseph Kony's closest men, and she has been shared with him in most degrading ways. She has been buried alive, raped, brutalized and made to witness the killing of parents and friends - she has been forced to carry out these desensitization acts herself, and still survived through her own grit and determ
I had mixed feelings about this book. The authors alternate chapters -- one chapter of memoir by Grace Akallo followed by a chapter of history and politics by Faith McDonnell, and so on and so forth. On the one hand, it's really helpful to have that history. I know the basics of the conflict in Uganda, but this gave more structure.

On the other hand, it was incredibly biased. I think I was supposed to come out of reading that book thinking that Muslims are all evil and the only way to end the con
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it
story of teen girl abducted in Uganda around 2006. hard read - half of book is facts and figures (other half is Grace's own story), as well as hard to stomach the atrocities. worth a read to learn tragic history. ...more
Ginny Fanthome
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it
I picked up this book as I was hoping it was a biography of a girl soldier in Uganda. Her story is in here, albeit buried amongst other content.

While I appreciate learning about the historical background of the Ugandan armies and the clash of religious ideologies, I think that part overtook the book. I also thought the gushing content about God woven throughout was a little heavy-handed, especially given what I've just mentioned above.

What I did like was reading about Grace's story, although I
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the heart-rending yet ultimately triumphant story of Grace Akallo, who was abducted from her school in northern Uganda by members of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. The chapters alternate between Grace's story and an in-depth accounting of the history of the mistreatment of the people of northern Uganda, written by co-author Faith McDonnell. Grace eventually came to the US, where she was a student at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She had many opportunities while in the US to speak of the ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Very informative book about the plight of the Acholi people in Uganda, focusing particularly on the children who have been abducted and forced to become soldiers in the LRA. Told from the viewpoint of Grace Akallo, who was abducted from her school by the LRA, and was beaten, raped, & forced to kill or be killed, and Faith McDonnell, a writer who is with the Institute on Religion & Democracy. Part memoir by Grace & part historical documentation by Faith, it is an enlightening look at the tragedy ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Too much centered around Faith and her ideas rather than talking about Grace's story. ...more
Smooth Via
Jun 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Obviously a bit outdated, but still a decent read. The writing is not great, but the life of Grace is riveting, and the history from Grace is helpful for context.
Zach Ross
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Girl Soldier is about the constant war going on in Uganda. The LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) has killed thousands of children and have turn many more into killers. Grace Akallo, a co-author, lived through this horrifying nightmare and is here to tell her story. This book was written to show people, like us Americans, that life is not always the same in every part of the world. Many, if not almost all, Americans probably never would have thought something like this was happening to humanity in ano ...more
Michael Cameron
Oct 12, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is very interesting because it is real. I chose to read this book because I did not know as much about life in Africa as I wanted to. It is about a teenage girl who lived in Uganda and was kidnapped from her school by rebels, or Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army. This girl's name was Grace Akallo, who is one of the authors. The other author of this book is Faith McDonnell, who talks about the life and war in Northern Uganda. The chapters alternated authors throughout the whole book; ...more
Brandon Stiver
I liked the book. It was worth the read and added a layer of understanding when it comes to the issues facing the Acholi people and children in Northern Uganda. It's always powerful to learn the first hand experience of someone like Akallo and I'm grateful for the advocacy that came out of their efforts. I'm reading this book over a decade after it's release so the LRA is not nearly what it used to be, but the topics of geopolitical pressures, vulnerable communities and conflict seem ever-presen ...more
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
Like many, I first learned about the atrocities committed by the Lord's Resistance Army against children and adults in Uganda through the campaign against Kony on YouTube. I wanted to find out more and so purchased this book. I wasn't disappointed.

It is written by two authors Grace Akallo, who is a survived being abducted by the LRA and tells of her experiences, and Faith McDonnell, who provides the history leading up to the formation of the LRA and an overview of their modus operandi. The two
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this book shared the true life experience of a teenage girl kidnapped by rebels and forced into a life of war in Uganda. it tells of her day to day endurance by keeping her fiath. she is forced to do things that she never wanted to do like marry an older man who beat her and abused her. in the end she finds a escape route with someother kids and she is able to help free captured teenagers. she then gets recognized for her great work and visits important people in and near our country. i recomend ...more
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-ve-read
3.5 stars
This book gives us historical accounts on Uganda's history of bloodshed leading up to Joseph Kony's LRA horrors and why it is that he has targeted the Acholi people in order to have a sort of ethnic cleansing through kidnapping children and making them kill their families and neighbors. Since the 1980s he has brought horror to each village in Uganda and into even parts of the Congo now.

A survivor of the LRA, Grace Akallo writes about her childhood, her kidnapping, and how God led her o
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Told alternately between Grace's first hand experience and Faith's historical perspective, Girl Soldier tells the story of the war in northern Uganda and the child abductions of Joseph Kony's LRA.

Grace was abducted by the LRA from her high school in 1996 and held as a child soldier and wife for seven months. During that time she was starved, raped, forced to brutally kill other children, and was left for dead on several occasions. In the chaos of battle one day she escaped with nothing but her g
Jun 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, nonfiction
Grace Akallo is a 15 year old Acholi girl who is wrenched from her school at night and forced to become a soldier in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resisitance Army in Uganda. In alternating chapters, we hear Grace's voice which has faith in God but it is tested when she is raped, beaten and forced to kill others. The other chapters are written by Faith McDonnell and she tells the history of Uganda's forgotten children. I learned that countries in Africa suffer from the crazed notions of leaders who only ...more
Charryse Fredrick
Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
The title of this book stopped my in my tracks, along with the alluring eyes of the girl pictured on the cover, as I browsed through books in Barnes & Noble, searching for something. I found this non-fiction book by authors, Grace & Faith, and from the moment I read the back cover and looked inside, I new I needed to read the story told on the pages.

The unique telling of Grace's experience as a child soldier in Africa, after being abducted in the night, and the history of the conflict, explained
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This book is very interesting and informative. The chapters alternate authors, so every other chapter was written by the point of view of either Grace (the former child soldier), or Faith (activist). I enjoyed reading Grace's accounts more, but Faith included important facts and history about the war in Uganda that helps explain Grace's situation. Many parts are heartbreaking and difficult to read, but Grace's strength to overcome adversity and triumph after all she has been through is inspiring ...more
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This true story gives a vivid account of what girls go through in Northern Uganda. Unfortunately, we don't hear these story's in our country. If we did, many Americans might push our government to do more for these children. If Northern Uganda has vast minerals, such as oil, we would be in this country fighting for them to have a democratic country. Instead, we don't appear to give a damn and allow the people of this country to be slaughtered and the children to be forced to kill or be killed. ...more
Gabi MacNaughton
Feb 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Okay so I really liked this book and I thought that the message that it sent was good but I thought that it would have been better if Grace's voice had been stronger and Faith's a little less present because Grace's recollections of her past were extremely interesting and drew me in and then Faith's sections of the novel were a bit too long, factual, Christian biased, and even a bit redundant. Over all good and would recommend it to only certain people. ...more
Sam Taylor
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, diverse-lit
Grace's words were compelling and eye-opening. I think her story would have been better served if the co-writer and editors of this book had trusted Grace's story and experience to stand more on it's own, than to be interspersed between (much lengthier) chapters of background explanation and interpretation. But Grace's chapters can present a chilling narrative of her time as s forced child solider for the LRA. ...more
This is a really great book because it was written by two authors. The chapters switch back and forth between the history of the conflict in Uganda and the personal account of a young girl who was abducted by the LRA, raped, and forced to kill at age 13. This is a Christian book so it talks alot about the young girl's faith and the history of Christian Martyrs in the region. ...more
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