Monday, April 11, 2016

Review || Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Michel Chikwanine & Jessica Dee Humphreys


Title
: Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War
Author(s)+Jessica Dee Humphreys & +Michel Chikwanine
Illustrator: Claudia Davila
Age Range: 10-14
Grade Level: 5-9
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Type: Hardcover
Pages: 48
Buy the book: Amazon

Trigger Warning: Deals with hard subject matters like children in war, per the title. Drug mentions. Loss. 1q
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions herein are of my own.

Synopsis:
"It's 1993, and the Democratic Republic of Congo is going through major political changes. Five-year-old Michel is playing with friends one day when, without warning, a group of rebel soldiers pulls up to the school grounds. Forced onto trucks, the frightened boys are taken to a camp in the hills. There they are thrust into a terrifying and violent world.
A compelling story of resilience and courage. Child Solider is Michel Chikwanine's account of his time in rebel militia, his escape, and his efforts to make a new life for himself and his family in Canada."

Praise:
"Moving and insightful, Child Soldier will enlighten young readers about the desperate plight of 250,000 of their peers and inspire them to action." - Lieutenant-Generat (ret) Romeo Dallaire

"Child Solider reminds us of our ability to endure much and still work to make the world better. It will surely inspire kids to work to protect all children from harm." - Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF

Review:
First off, I'm going to tell you how much I love the cover of this book. It automatically caught my eye when I opened the packaging, so I know it would catch a child's eye. I also love the fact that it's not a normal subject matter like princesses and knights and magical woodland creatures. CitizenKid creates books with the mission of enlightening children on the world and all of it's issues. It's a hardcover book, so it's very durable. I also got it signed! I love receiving signed books so much.

At the beginning of the book, Michel assures the reader that what has happened to him will not happen to them. He explains that a lot of things happened in his country before it resorted to the use of child soldiers. I love the fact that he decided to reassure the child, because a lot of readers get anxiety from what they read. Some of my most irrational fears have stemmed from reading. On the following page, there is a small map of Michel's country, which is amazing! This really is an educational book for children to read. It has so much information, yet you don't feel like it's being forced down your throat which is an incredible feat for an author of educational children books.

One part of the book I liked a lot was when he was explaining how they made their own soccer balls with plastic bags and paper scraps. After they had those done, they wrapped them in dried banana leaves. This goes to show children that even if they think they have nothing, they can always make do with natural resources close to them.


Things I learned:
-The Belgian King, generations ago, used the Congolese people as slaves, and half of the population was killed during his reign.
-I had no idea the Democratic Republic of Congo had so many rich, natural resources like diamond and gold.
-There's a fabric called bikwembe.
-And so much more!
Reactions:

36 comments:

  1. Great review, sounds interesting. I know the librarian in a secondary school so will pass on your review.

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    1. Thank you so much! It's a book that I think a lot of children would benefit from reading. :)

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  2. This definitely sounds like a book children should read--with an adult nearby just in case. I do like that the author tries to reassure the children before the book begins that this probably won't happen to them. I think it would do well in a school's history curriculum.

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  3. At first I was questioning if a book like this would be a bit too heavy of a topic for kids. It sounds like the author tells the "story" in way that isn't as scary and also infuses a lot of great information in to it.

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  4. This sounds like the kind of book I would be interested in. It sounds heavy, yet important.

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  5. This sounds like a fascinating book and I'm always looking for new ones to read, so thanks for sharing! I'll definitely be seeing if I can get this from the library.

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  6. This would make such a great homeschooling book for my girls once they get a bit older! Will keep on my list :)

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  7. I think this sounds like a great book for children of elementary school age!!

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  8. Oh wow! My son is 11 and loves reading real life books and I know he would love this :) I'm going to buy it for him now. It's such a great way for him to learn about other areas and the world.

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  9. I think this would be a great book for my nephew.

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  10. Sounds like a great book. I am going to pass the name of this along to my grandpa. He loves this kind of stuff.

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  11. This sounds like a book my boys would enjoy. I would read it with them at bedtime.

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  12. This is so interesting and sounds like a good book!

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  13. Thanks for the great review! I'm going to have to look at this for my niece and nephew.

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  15. I am always looking for new books for my daughter to read. This sounds like a really good read, I have never heard of the author before as well.

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  16. Such a great review. You really made me want to read it!

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  17. The plight of child soldiers makes me so sad, I wish these children were not forced into a war of adults making.

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  18. It sounds like yet another great book to open up parent/child discussions. I'm intrigued with it!

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  19. Sounds like a great read, ill add it to my collection for sunday reads =).

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  20. Thank you for sharing. This looks interesting!

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  21. This is a very thorough review on a subject that is not easy to read

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  22. This sounds like a great story. I will see if they have it at my library.

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  23. I am going to have to pass this book on to my son. I think he's old enough to handle it.

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  24. There aren't a lot of books like that will teach kids about experience and history. It's really nice to know that the story was great and that the author was very considerate of his readers. Thank you for the review! I hope someday my kids can read this, when they're able.

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  25. I don't have any kids this would be a fit for but do love to see kids interested in reading. This sounds like a good fit for kids interested in history.

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  26. Wow! What an interesting book. I think it's great to open kids eyes to what happens around the world.

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  27. Wow this book sounds amazingly insightful. I want to read it for myself.

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  28. This book looks really interesting I would love to have a copy and start reading!

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  29. 1993 is the year one of my kids was born. I remember the year well. Thank you for the in-depth review!

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  30. I will have to pick myself up a copy of this. It's very sad that things like this happen. I don't know much about children being used in wars, but I would love to educate myself on it.

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  31. nice review. I think I will have to read this and educate myself about the ways chidren are being used in wars all over the world.

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  32. This is such a sad topic. I just recently watched a film where children were exploited by warlords in a third world country.

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  33. We had to research this in a college class and it just broke my heart :/

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  34. I read this! It was such a tough read but worth it in the end. So inspiring.

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  35. What a lovely review and it's nice to learn it starts by assuring the reader as just writing child soldiers scares the bejesus outta me

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